[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/action52_2475.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:200:"The Ultimate Challenge" here would be to convince yourself that this was actually worth $200.]]

->''[[WelcomeToHell "Make your selection... now."]]''
-->-- '''Game Voiceover'''

''Action 52'' is a collection of 52 games for the NES -- well, perhaps "games" is too kind -- released by Active Enterprises and advertised in the back of many gaming magazines of the day. It was famously sold for $200, which would be a bargain for 52 games worth playing. However, these games... weren't.

The truly amazing part? The folks at Active were apparently big dreamers, and accompanied the grand unveiling of ''Action 52'' with a press release, proclaiming the upcoming release of ''Cheetahmen'' action figures and a "Disney-quality" Saturday morning cartoon, and the [[http://www.consoledatabase.com/consoleinfo/actiongamemaster/ Action Gamemaster]], a portable system that would play games from nearly every console available at the time. None of these products ever came to fruition, as ''Action 52'' wallowed in obscurity, but it has gained a new lease on life in the Internet age as SnarkBait.

This isn't to say that Active Enterprises never did anything again; indeed, there was a second ''Action 52'' compilation on the Genesis (which Active farmed out to another developer, Farsight Technologies, who did a ''much'' better, though still just barely passable, job), and a third was planned on the SNES (likely scrapped when they couldn't figure out a way around Nintendo's lockout).

Additionally, several years after the game was released, a very unfinished sequel to ''Cheetahmen'' on the NintendoEntertainmentSystem was discovered. ''Cheetahmen II'' had been programmed onto hundreds of crudely relabeled ''Action 52'' cartridges, but was never officially released. ''Then'' Active Enterprises never did anything again.

A history of how the monstrosity came to be [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_52 is in The Other Wiki]]. WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd reviewed the game [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4QBeADNM34 here]] (part one of two; the second part, covering ''Cheetahmen'' and its unreleased sequel can be found [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwmoJkHS-2E here]]). Even though his review contains some inaccuracies, it still sums the games up pretty well. A more detailed series of all 52 games [[note]]including the ones that are only playable on a certain emulator[[/note]] can be seen [[http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4D40E5708C6BAEEA here]].

This collection of games is almost universally considered a pile of crap. However, the background music used in ''Cheetahmen'' (and reused in ''Cheetahmen II'') is an exception: it is surprisingly well-regarded, with a large number of musical remixes.

Action 52 has been given a shot at redemption with two projects: the ''VideoGame/Action52Owns Project,'' (in which indie game developers are collaborating to remake each game in the collection) and ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaxU_jlHnIU Action 52 Revisited]]'' (which tries to relate all games together). Hey, it's not like they can make the games worse, right? Also, there's plans of a company for releasing an '''official''' Cheetahmen 3 game for the XboxLiveArcade ([[DevelopmentHell maybe]])[[note]]They would like to release it for PlaystationNetwork, but don't plan to due to budget limitations[[/note]].

The games on the cartridge (NES version):

# Fire Breather
# Starevil
# Illuminator
# G-Force Fighters
# Ooze
# Silver Sword
# Crytical Bypass [sic]
# Jupiter Scope
# Alfredo (aka Alfred N The Fettuc)
# Operation Full-Moon
# Dam Busters
# Thrusters
# Haunted Hill
# Chill Out
# Sharks
# Megalonia
# French Baker
# Atmos Quake
# Meong
# Space Dreams
# Streemerz
# Spread Fire
# Bubblegum Rosy (aka Bubble Gum Rossie)
# Micro Mike
# Underground
# Rocket Jockey
# Non-Human
# Cry Baby
# Slashers
# Crazy Shuffle
# Fuzz Power
# Shooting Gallery
# Lollipops
# Evil Empire
# Sombreros
# Storm Over the Desert
# Mash Man
# They Came...
# Lazer League
# Billy Bob
# City of Doom
# Bits and Pieces
# Beeps and Blips
# Manchester
# Boss
# Dedant
# Hambo (aka Hambo's Adventures)
# Time Warp Tickers
# Jigsaw
# Ninja Assault
# Robbie Robot (aka Robbie N The Robots)
# Cheetahmen (aka Action Gamemaster)

----
!!''Action 52'' includes examples of:
* ActionGirl: ''Haunted Halls'' and ''Bubblegum Rosy'' have female protagonists.
* AfterBossRecovery: Applies to any game which has a health bar and bosses.
* AllThereInTheManual: The manual summaries for the games appear to be based on the projected versions rather than the final ones. They talk about features that don't appear, or give descriptions of the games that are just flat-out wrong. For instance, the description of ''Bits and Pieces'' in the manual makes it sound like a ''Videogame/{{Tetris}}''-esque game, but the actual game involves Frankenstein jumping over monsters. The description of ''Shooting Gallery'' describes several different modes of play, but there's just one style with several levels of increasing difficulty.
** The summary for ''Billy Bob'' reveals that the aim is to escape from a prison and rescue your girlfriend, neither of which are made clear in the actual game. Likewise, the manual makes clear that the Action Gamemaster featured in the introduction to ''Cheetahmen'' transforms into the three title characters throughout the course of the game, while the actual game never even mentions him after the intro sequence.
* AnachronismStew: Sometimes. Look at NinjaPirateZombieRobot.
* AntagonistTitle:
** ''Megalonia'', if the manual is to be believed.
** ''Non Human''. The title refers to the abominations the player faces, not the player himself.
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: Averted with Apollo, the leader of the Cheetahmen. He's got a long reach but a narrow attack range in the NES version, and the levels where you control him are generally considered to be the hardest in the game mainly owing to this. In the Genesis one his arrows take three hits to kill most enemies, while his brothers can kill any enemy in one hit.
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever: "Satan Hosain," the gigantic version of Saddam Hussein that appears in ''Storm Over the Desert''. Due to the general incompetence involved in the package, it's hard to tell whether his size was intentional, or a screw-up on the part of the developers.
* BedsheetGhost: Present in ''Haunted Hill/Halls''.
* BigBoosHaunt: ''Haunted Hill/Halls'' takes place in that setting.
* BlackoutBasement: ''Illuminator''
* BlatantLies: According to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Action_52_%28NES%29_box_art.jpg the box]], as displayed on TheOtherWiki, its creators gave it the "Action Seal of Quality Assurance". What kind of quality they were talking about is unclear, but it certainly doesn't mean what most of us would think "quality" means. Hopefully, it means "We're saving the best for last". Also: the manual.
* BlobMonster: The enemies in ''Ooze''.
* BossRush: Sort of. The last game, ''Cheetahmen'', uses an array of {{Palette Swap}}ped enemies from previous games. A few of them are actually based on bosses, [[DegradedBoss but they don't put up any more of a fight]].
* BossOnlyLevel: Level 2 of ''Ninja Assault''.
* BottomlessPits: There are many of them. Some cause unintentional vertical WrapAround.
* BullfightBoss: White Rhino in ''Cheetahmen'' is this.
* BuxomIsBetter: The protagonist of ''Haunted Hill'' has breasts bigger than her head.
* CaptainErsatz: The Action Gamemaster from ''Cheetahmen'' is a pretty obvious knockoff of ''WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster''.
* CarryABigStick: Aries likes to use clubs in combat.
* CartoonBomb: The enemies in later ''Fuzz Power'' levels. Cartoon bombs are also thrown in ''Boss''.
* CashCowFranchise: Attempted, but failed miserably. Active was clearly expecting ''Cheetahmen'' to become the next ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'', or at the very least the next ''VideoGame/{{Battletoads}}''. While it could perhaps have enjoyed some success, as many agree that the basic concept was kind of cool if not especially original, having the only way of obtaining it be as part of a $200 cartridge pretty much killed that idea from the word go.
* {{Catchphrase}}: The ''Cheetahmen'' comic attempted to give the trio a pair of these. "Let's sink some subs!" being their battlecry (the villains being mutants called "sub-species," you see), and "Livin' large!" as their version of "[[TotallyRadical Cowabunga!]]", apparently.
* [[CatGirl Cat Men]]: ''Cheetahmen''
* CharacterTitle:
** ''Alfredo''
** ''Bubblegum Ros(s)ie''
** ''Micro Mike''
** ''Billy Bob''
** ''Hambo's Adventures''
** ''Cheetahmen''
* CheckpointStarvation: There isn't a single checkpoint in any level, in any of the 52 games. If you die at any point, you're starting that level from the beginning.
* ChestMonster: Money from ''Streemerz'' damages you.
* CinematicPlatformGame: Attempted with ''Billy Bob''.
* {{Cloudcuckooland}}: ''Time Warp Tickers''
* CollisionDamage: Collision damage, came-within-two-feet-of-it damage, whatever.
* CopyAndPasteEnvironments: It even goes so far that some sections of levels in many games are repeated over and over with the same enemy placement (if it's not random).
* DamnYouMuscleMemory: The "jump" and "attack" buttons are B and A respectively, the opposite of the vast majority of similar games on the system.
* DeadlyWalls: Most of the ShootEmUp games. Poor collision detection kills you before you actually touch them. ''Star Evil'' is the worst offender, as you can get killed less than a second after starting it up due to the speed of the level scrolling.
* DemBones: Skeletons from ''Bits 'N' Pieces.''
* DemotedToExtra: ''Cheetahmen'' was the main attraction of the NES version but it's just another title in the Genesis version.
** Likewise the bosses from the NES version of ''Cheetahmen'' show up in the Genesis one, but are just generic one-hit-kill enemies.
* DenialOfDiagonalAttack: Extremely noticeable (e.g. Stage 5 of ''Cheetahmen'').
** Most noticeable in ''Dam Busters'', where you can only fire in the cardinal directions but the enemies can fire in any direction they want.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: From the intro of ''Cheetahmen'': "The Cheetahmen ran off... ... and now... The Cheetahmen"
* {{Descriptiveville}}: In the Genesis version, Segaville in ''Sunday Drive.''
* DiscOneFinalBoss: Despite being the BigBad, Dr. Morbis is actually the ''first'' boss of ''Cheetahmen II'', and extremely easy to defeat.
* DifficultySpike: Some of the games have this:
** ''Cheetahmen'' has [[ThatOneLevel level 5]], which gives you the worst weapon in the game (a crossbow which is ridiculously hard to aim properly) and unfairly quick enemies, most of whom home in on you.
** ''Illuminator'' has bats from level 4 onwards, which are the toughest enemies in the game.
** ''Haunted Halls'' introduces spiders in level 2, which can render the level impossible depending on where they spawn.
** ''Beeps n Blips''' enemies vary depending on the level, with most from level 3 onwards being too quick to react to.
** ''Robbie n the Robots'' is ridiculously easy in level 1, but the rest of the game is quite difficult.
** ''Starevil'' starts off directly in front of a nearly-impossible-to-avoid wall. This comes after the first game, ''Firebreather'', which was relatively slow-paced and 2-player.
* DirectionallySolidPlatforms: Some of the platform games have them.
* DoomyDoomsOfDoom: ''City of Doom''
* DoubleMeaningTitle: ''Chill Out''
* DownTheDrain: Some levels in ''Cheetahmen'' take place in sewers.
* DummiedOut: Seeing as the game crashes on most cartridges when trying to play ''Alfredo and the Fettucini'' (also known as ''Alfredo'' or ''Alfred n the Fettuc'') or ''Jigsaw'', the two games are effectively DummiedOut and can only be played with an emulator. Same goes to later levels in some of the games (''Thrusters'', ''Shooting Gallery'' etc.). ''Ooze'' even had cut level 8 and a screen for the {{Unwinnable}} contest. Additionally, ROM hackers have discovered art assets for yet ''more'' games that didn't make it onto the cart, as well as a title screen for ''French Baker.''
* DungeonBypass:
** It's possible to skip most of levels 1 and 3 of ''Cheetahmen'' by finding the secret exits. This should also be possible on level 5, but a GameBreakingBug causes the game to break if you try to do that.
** You can also skip level 2 of ''Slashers'' by walking into one of the doorways.
* EarlyGameHell:
** The first two levels of ''Billy Bob'' are noticeably harder than the rest of the game.
** Also applies to ''Fuzz Power'', as the first section is nearly impossible to do with pure skill but the rest of the game is fairly manageable. (At least until the [[UnwinnableByMistake insurmountable wall in level 3]])
* {{Engrish}}: The manual. Very surprising because it was made in the US.
* EndlessGame: Most of the games loop around from the last level, if they don't crash first.
* EnemySummoner: The spider bosses in ''Haunted Hill/Halls'' shoot baby spiders at you, which are standard {{mooks}} from level 2 onwards.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou:
** The classic example: the clearly-marked bags of ''pain'' sitting on the floor in ''Streemerz''. Not to mention the deadly bouncing balls and clowns.
** Haircare products in ''Fuzz Power''
** Chains in ''Haunted Halls''.
** Windows, bowling balls, insects and rubble in ''City of Doom''.
** Candy products in ''Lollipops''.
** Some weird... things in ''Spread Fire''.
** Pasta in ''Alfred(o) N The Fettuc(ini)''.
** Food, file cabinets and envelopes on wheels in ''French Baker''.
** Child toys in ''Space Dreams''.
** Weird... things in ''Timewarp Tickers''
** Utility tools in ''Jigsaw''.
** Green Elton John heads in ''Non-Human''.
* ExcusePlot: Most of the games that have them.
* FakeDifficulty: So many examples...
* FakeTrap: The spikes in ''Bubblegum Rosy'' are an unintentional example.
* FlunkyBoss: ''Star Evil'''s bosses.
* FollowTheLeader: According to TheOtherWiki, ''Action 52'' was conceived when the creator observed his son playing a pirated 40-game multicart from Taiwan. As the cart itself was popular in his own neighborhood, he decided to create such a cart legitimately.
* FrickinLaserBeams: The player character in ''Sharks''.
* GameBreakingBug: So, so many.
** If [[http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-5487678_ITM this article]] is to be believed, the programming duties were done by college students.
** The Genesis version is a lot less buggy... but somehow manages to find a way to still suck.
** Some games ''don't even load at all'', unless you're using certain emulators.
** ''Cheetahmen II'' has a particularly cruel example. If you take too long to defeat the second boss, the Ape Man, then he'll eventually walk off the screen and never return, forcing you to restart the whole game. If you actually do defeat Ape Man however, the game fails to load the next level, leaving you no better off than you were before.
* GiantEyeOfDoom[=/=]Oculothorax: A few of the enemies in ''Non Human''.
* GoombaStomp: In two of the games, you can do that. Namely in ''Mash Man'' and ''Bits 'n Pieces''.
* GraffitiTown: The odd-numbered levels of ''Boss'' take place in this.
* HardLevelsEasyBosses: Certainly the case in ''Haunted Hill/Halls''.
* HardModeFiller: The only difference with different levels of ''Space Dreams'', ''Spread Fire'' and ''Shooting Gallery'' is that the enemies gradually move faster with each level.
* HitboxDissonance: Very severe in some of the games.
* HyperactiveSprite that looks like doing the [[Music/MichaelJackson Moonwalk]]
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Johnny Jawbreaker from ''Lollipops'' uses a large lollipop as a weapon.
* InfiniteOneUps: ''Evil Empire'' and later levels of ''They Came...'' have this, as 1-Ups spawn infinitely.
* InNameOnly: Several of the games on the Mega Drive version reuse names from the NES original despite being completely different games.
* InconvenientlyPlacedConveyorBelt: They're present in level 4 of ''Cheetahmen''.
* InterfaceScrew: The life bar in some levels of some games isn't visible. In a few others, the life bar isn't visible at all.
* InvincibleMinorMinion: A lot, including the bouncing enemies in ''Bubblegum Rosy''.
* InvisibleBlock: Some pits in level 3 of ''Alfredo'' can be walked over, making this a rare case that invisible blocks make a game easier.
* JohnnyMcCoolname: Johnny Jawbreaker, the protagonist of ''Lollipops''.
* JumpPhysics: Many games will only let you move in mid-jump while you're descending.
* KidHero: In ''Illuminator'' and ''Bubblegum Rosy''
* KillScreen: The second-closest thing to an ending. Particularly frustrating in ''Ninja Assualt'' -- the cave is ''right there'', and moreover, it's actually been pretty ''decent'' so far.
* KingMook: The bosses in ''Manchester'' basically look like the standard enemies with their hair on fire.
* LadderPhysics: Work as ladders in video games do (unless they're glitchy) except in ''Lollipops'' where you can go up the ladder only by jumping up them.
* LeapOfFaith: Made worse with jumping controls.
* LevelAte: ''Lollipops'' is entirely made out of food. ''French Baker'' and ''Alfredo'' have food themed levels.
* LivingToys: Many of the enemies in ''Space Dreams''.
* LuckBasedMission: So many:
** In some games, enemies appear in random places. In some games, a bad enemy placement means death, or an {{Unwinnable}} situation, e.g. in ''Under Ground''. ''Hambo'' is probably the worst offender for this, as not only do you start the game with just one life, it's possible for enemies to spawn right on top of Hambo, killing him as soon as the level begins. Creator/StuartAshen, who played the game as part of his second "Quickest Game Overs Ever" video, managed to die in ''0.4 seconds'' (the quickest Game Over he found for the video) and had this happen twice in the five times he played the game.
** In other games, enemies which are able to shoot, do it at random times. Sometimes they don't shoot at all while other times they shoot several bullets at you, resulting death.
* ManualMisprint: Taken UpToEleven, as several of the manual descriptions bear absolutely no resemblance to the actual game. Several examples are rather {{Egregious}}:
** The manual describes ''Crazy Shuffle'' as a matching game, but it's actually a game where you shoot stuff in a hedge maze.
** ''Bits n Pieces'' is described as a puzzle game but is actually a game where you jump on stock movie monsters.
** In the manual, ''Jigsaw'' is described as being ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. However, it's actually a carpentry-themed platformer.
* MindScrew: ''Non Human'', ''Spread Fire'', ''Time Warp Tickers'', among others.
* MiniGameGame: Ideally, ''Action 52'' is supposed to be this.
* MooksButNoBosses: A lot of the games have this.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: ''Satan'' Hosain
* NightOfTheLivingMooks: ''Bits and Pieces''
* {{Ninja}}: ''Ninja Assault''
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Possibly the crowning achievement of ''Ninja Assault'': big-nosed, coonskin-wearing ''hillybilly ninjas''. Strange indeed are the ways of the Zin-Zan.
* NintendoHard: Games with enough coherence to begin with usually wind up in the worst excesses of this.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: The evil "Satan Hosain" from ''Storm Over the Desert''. Running over him gives you an extra life. In ''Cheetahmen'', he becomes an easily-dispatched midget.
* NoEnding: Most of the games. In some you just keep doing the same level(s) over and over, and in some [[GameBreakingBug you]] [[{{Unwinnable}} can't]] [[UnwinnableByMistake even]] [[UnwinnableByDesign reach]] the ending (if they DID program one) [[LuckBasedMission for]] [[JumpPhysics various]] [[ObviousBeta reasons]]. Another thing is that a lot of the levels have no proper indication for when they end; they just end abruptly.
** Sometimes averted with ''Ooze'', which has an ending screen telling you to enter a code and send it to Active Enterprises. Pity a lot of the cartridges have it crash after level 2.
* NonIronicClown: The protagonist of ''Streemerz''.
* NonStandardGameOver: ''Ninja Assault'' goes the ''VideoGame/{{Karateka}}'' route and replaces the standard GameOver screen with a "The End" screen instead.
* NotTheFallThatKillsYou: Falling ''can'' kill you, and you need not actually touch the ground from a long jump for a character to begin his death animation.
** ''Billy Bob'' is a notorious example of this. If he drops off a ledge, not only does he die before he hits the ground, but he stops in mid-fall, lies flat on his face, and stays there levitated in mid-air.
* [[ObviousBeta Obvious Alpha]]: Some games are worse than others, but at one point or another, it becomes clear that most of them were just getting started, especially when compared with the way they are described in the manual.
** ''Cheetahmen 2'' was an Obvious Pre-Alpha, and they still programmed it into cartridges. Did they really intend to distribute it in that state?
* OneHitpointWonder: The vast majority of player characters are this, the main exceptions being the Cheetahmen, the leading lady in ''Haunted Hills'', and the tanks in ''Storm Over the Desert''.
* OneUp: Some games have 1-up pickups. Games with these include ''Evil Empire'', ''Dam Busters'', ''Crazy Shuffle'', ''Cheetahmen'' and more. In ''Beeps 'n Blips'', the 1-Ups don't increase your life count but rather give you more hit points.
* OneWordTitle:
** ''Illuminator''
** ''Ooze''
** ''Thrusters''
** ''Sharks''
** ''Megalonia''
** ''Meong''
** ''Streemerz''
** ''Underground''
** ''Slashers''
** ''Lollipop(s)''
** ''Sombreros''
** ''Manchester''
** ''Boss''
** ''Dedant''
** ''Jigsaw''
* PaletteSwap: The hero of ''Mash Man'' is the "defeated" sprite from ''Fuzz Power'' with clothes.
* {{Plagiarism}}: Most of the songs are lame ripoffs of other musics from the Music Factory on Atari ST. The title music itself is shamelessly ripped from "It Takes Two."
* PlatformHell: Some of the games fall right into this. Unusually, this seems to be unintentional.
* PoisonMushroom: Money bags kill you in ''Streemerz''.
* PowerGlows: According to the manual, ''Rocket Jockey'' was supposed to have a lasso which would glow brighter as it gains power. the idea was scrapped. It was added in the ''VideoGame/Action52Owns'' remake, though.
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: ''Jigsaw'' uses "Long, Long Ago." ''Cry Baby'' uses the Alphabet song.
* {{Pun}}: "Lights! Camera! Action 52!"
** Also in the intro is the usage of Rob Base's "It Takes Two".
* PunnyName: ''Hambo''
* RatchetScrolling: ''Dam Busters'' has this, and it can easily get you stuck in an area that keeps you from moving forward, forcing you to reset the game.
** All of the platformers have this as well.
* RealSongThemeTune: The intro uses a sample of Rob Base's "It Takes Two".
* RecurringBoss: Most bosses reappear from level to level with minimal variation.
* RecurringRiff: ''Space Dreams'' and ''Dam Busters'' use similar melody at some points. Also, you can hear the level 1 motif of level 3's theme in ''Lollipops'' sometimes.
** There's also the theme for ''They Came'' and ''Beeps 'n Blips'', which uses the same melody from level 2 of ''Haunted Halls''.
* RecycledSoundtrack: ''They Came'' and ''Beeps 'n Blips'' have the same music, while the themes from ''Fuzz Power'' and ''Cheetahmen'' end up being reused in ''Cheetahmen II''. (and ''SyobonAction'', in the case of the latter)
** A lot more noticeable in the Mega Drive version, where the entire soundtrack (bar the title and menu themes) is used in multiple games.
* RefugeeFromTVLand: The Cheetahmen enter a kid's living room via a TV in the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWXOQD-VAmY commercial]] for the game.
* RocketRide: What you and some of the enemies do in ''Rocket Jockey''.
* RollingAttack: The main character in ''Fuzz Power'' can do that.
* RougeAnglesOfSatin: Several of the game descriptions in the manual have this:
** ''Micro Mike'' - "He's only the size of a flea, and it's difficult getting from her to their when you're smaller than the stand of hair. It seems like your in the land of the giants."
** ''Streemerz'' - "Try climbing to the top of this one by throwing steamers and climbing them"
** ''Bubblegum Ros(s)ie'' manages to combine this with GenderBlenderName.
* SadlyMythtaken: The Cheetahmen, the characters of Active's flagship property that never was, consisted of Apollo, Hercules, and Aries. Considering Aries is supposed to be a master of martial arts and the group's combat expert, he was probably supposed to be named after Ares.
* SaveThePrincess: You have to rescue your sister in ''Illuminator'' and a woman in ''Billy Bob''.
** And Princess Lolli in ''Lollipops''.
* SchizophrenicDifficulty: Level 3 of ''Sharks'' is much harder than the rest of the game, due to the sharks being replaced with jellyfish which are hard to hit.
** In ''Billy Bob'', it's extremely noticeable where the game goes easier each level.
* SecretLevel: Level 9 of ''Cheetahmen'' (a single room containing a OneUp), which can be accessed by a secret exit in any of the odd-numbered levels. However, doing this in level 5 will cause the game to go [[MinusWorld level 10]] where the game completely glitches up.
* SentryGun: Some games like ''Robbie Robot'' have these. Sentry Guns are sole enemies in ''Operation Moon''
* ShiftingSandLand: Some levels in ''Storm Over the Desert''
* ShoddyKnockoffProduct: Several of the games are bad attempts at ripping off other games:
** ''Firebreathers'' = ''Combat''
** ''Sharks'' = ''VideoGame/{{Jaws}}''
** ''Streemerz'' = ''Roc'n Rope'' (sometimes confused with ''VideoGame/BionicCommando'')
** ''Slashers'' = ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon''
** ''Fuzz Power'' = ''VideoGame/AdventureIsland''
** ''Storm Over the Desert'' = ''VideoGame/BattleCity''
** ''Billy Bob'' = ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia''
** ''City of Doom'' = ''Crazy Climber''
** ''Hambo's Adventures'' = ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'' (Even the manual alludes to this)
** ''Ninja Assault'' = ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' (In particular, level 4 is a blatant copy of stage 2-2 from Ninja Gaiden II.)
** ''Cheetahmen'' = ''VideoGame/{{Battletoads}}''
** And from the Mega Drive version:
** ''Go Bonkers'' = ''Diamonds'' (AppleMacintosh game)
** ''Darksyne'' = ''Gravitar''
** ''Sidewinder'' = ''Sky Destroyer''
** ''Star Duel'' = ''Space War''
** ''Alfredo'' = The ''VideoGame/MarioBros'' minigame from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3''
** ''Skirmish'' = ''VideoGame/{{Archon}}''
** ''Depth Charge'' = ''Depth Charge'' (An early arcade game)
** ''Minds Eye'' = ''VideoGame/{{Minesweeper}}''
** ''Echo'' = ''Simon''
** ''Freeway'' = ''Freeway'' (The Atari 2600 game which in itself was a clone of ''VideoGame/{{Frogger}}''.)
** ''1st Game'' = ''VideoGame/{{Pong}}''
* SkippableBoss: The bosses in ''Megalonia'' can be skipped by shooting down enough ships.
* SomeDexterityRequired: To move while jumping in most of the platformers, the B button has to be released - it can't be held down. However, the B button is also a jump button. In 4 of the platforming games, the player can jump only when moving. It makes it HELL trying to jump across pits.
** Averted in ''Haunted Halls'', ''Bits 'n Pieces'' and ''Cheetahmen'' which don't have this problem.
* SpaceIsNoisy: Many space shooters in this game collection.
* SpaceWestern: In ''Rocket Jockey''.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Rosy, Rosie or Rossie?
* SpikesOfDoom: ''Bubblegum Rosy'' features some which won't work at all. In ''Mash Man'', spikes have [[HitboxDissonance much larger hitboxes than it seems]]. And in ''Underground'' (where these take in form of mushrooms or spears) it's safe to fall on top of them but not safe to walk past them.
* StealthPun: A possible example with ''Thrusters'', which has [[FreudWasRight a rather suggestive looking spaceship as the protagonist]].
** The characters in ''Boss'' are amphibious gangsters, effectively making them cold-blooded killers.
* StillbornFranchise: Active Enterprises had plans to create a Cheetahmen animated TV series and toy line.
* SuperDrowningSkills:
** Aries in ''Cheetahmen''
** The protagonist in ''Sombreros''
** ''Billy Bob''
** The ninja in ''Ninja Assault''
* TakeThat: The Saddam Hussein analogue in ''Storm over the Desert'' can be killed in just one hit. As a double TakeThat, he is basically a slightly modded sprite from ''SuperMarioBros''. Yeah, take that, Mario! What's more, his name is ''Satan'' Hosain. Because subtlety is for wimps.
** Also worth noting that the Iraqi tanks are pink and that running over Hussein gives you extra lives.
* TechnicalPacifist: Hercules in ''Cheetahmen'' doesn't want to attack unless provoked, as backstory tells.
* ThirteenIsUnlucky: Possibly the reason that ''Haunted Halls'' is the 13th game on the cart.
* TitleByNumber
* TitleDrop: ''Meong'' provides an odd variation, with the main character being an "A52" logo.
* TrapDoor: ''Meong'' has a lot of them.
* TrappedInTVLand: The plot of ''Cheetahmen'', as some kid called the Action Gamemaster is pulled into the game. Then the Cheetahmen show up, tell him not to worry, and run off to fight things. [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse The Action Gamemaster never sees them again]].
* TrialAndErrorGameplay: Averted in ''Meong'', where the traps reveal themselves if you wait long enough.
* UndergroundLevel: ''Underground'' and ''Dedant'' are entirely that for obvious reasons but some other games have underground levels as well.
* UnexpectedGameplayChange:
** ''Bubblegum Rosy'' and ''Ninja Assault'' both fall victim to this, for the worse.
** ''Cheetahmen'' has more of a non-indicative first taste of gameplay -- its first level is an isometric 3D sidescroller a la ''VideoGame/{{Battletoads}}'', but after that, all the levels are strictly 2D.
* TheUnfought: Dr. Morbis isn't actually present in ''Cheetahmen'' despite being presented as the main villain in the comic book.
* UnsoundEffect: ''Time Warp Tickers'' has "[[MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext Time?]]" as the stock death animation.
* UnwinnableByMistake and UnwinnableByDesign:
** Many of the games contain tough, nasty and cruel examples. Most famously ''Ooze'', which was part of a back-of-the-box competition where anyone who beat said game would be entered into a raffle. Since the game is impossible to beat, this raffle saw extremely few entries.
** In ''Starevil'', when too many sprites are onscreen when it's a boss time, the boss itself doesn't appear at all.
** The fifth level of ''Atmos Quake'' is unbeatable since your ship always randomly explodes.
** It's possible to get stuck at a dead-end in ''Dam Busters'' thanks to the game's RatchetScrolling. If that happens, your only option is to reset the game.
** ''Micro-Mike'' is nearly completely this.
** ''Fuzz Power'''s third level has a jump that's impossible to pass. This was possibly a mistake by the lazy developers.
** The fourth stage in ''Starevil'' is unwinnable for being extremely glitchy (a pink background with no way to pass the level).
* VariableMix: Unintentionally in level 3 of ''Lollipops'' where walking and hitting things changes the tones.
* VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: The last level of ''Cheetahmen'' takes a stab at this.
** Also done in ''Manchester''.
* VeryFalseAdvertising: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ3fVEA8lNE The TV commercial.]]
* ViolationOfCommonSense: There are MANY of these in Action 52. But one that stands out is in the game ''Sombreros.'' The first level requires you to walk down a very narrow street against the flow of traffic and avoid getting hit by cars. [[FakeDifficulty For some reason,]] it's completely impossible to step on the clearly visible ''sidewalk'' where there are no cars!
* {{Wackyland}}: Where ''Time Warp Tickers'' takes place. Also, ''Manchester''. There are unintentional examples too. Like ''Micro Mike'', due to tiles chosen for the level.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: ''Cheetahmen'': So what happened to the Action Game Master? Granted it contradicts what the opening cinema shows, but according to the manual he transforms into each of the Cheetahmen.
* AWinnerIsYou: In ''Cheetahmen'' you don't even get a "Conglaturation!" screen for your troubles. Beating the final boss instantly returns you to the title screen.
** ''Sharks'' and ''Dedant'' will give you Game Over screen when the final mission is completed.
* WordPureeTitle:
** ''Megalonia''
** ''Meong''
** ''Dedant''
** ''Alfred n the Fettuc'' (Although this is supposed to be ''Alfredo and the Fettucini'')
* WrapAround: 2-directional horizontal variation is present in ''Chill Out'', ''Cry Baby'' and ''Dedant''. There are unintentional examples too.
* XtremeKoolLetterz: ''Streemerz'' and ''Lazer League''.
** Unintentionally done in ''Crytical Bypass''.
* ZeroEffortBoss: Ironically applies to the RecurringBoss in ''Boss'', where you can just go to the left and shoot constantly because he never goes beyond the right-hand side of the screen or attack.
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