[[quoteright:256:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Battlezone_Coverart_2799.png]]

-> "Let them have their ticker tape parades, their 'space races,' and their commemorative packets of dehydrated ice cream. While Von Braun takes credit for his Redstone bottle rockets, I am finalizing plans for an inter-planetary fleet that could plant an American flag on every rock and pebble in this solar system by the end of the next decade. I will be watching the sunrise from atop [[UsefulNotes/{{Mars}} the Olympus Mons]] long before NASA takes their first steps on the moon."
-->--'''Dr. Wilhelm Arkin''', in his response to the offer of a position at NASA.

''Battlezone'', released by {{Activision}} in 1998, is set up as a revival of [[VideoGame/{{Battlezone1980}} the earlier games]]. It is a hybrid vehicle combat, {{FPS}}, and {{RTS}}. [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy The Space Race was a lie.]] After a meteor shower hits the Arctic circle in 1952, American and Soviet scientists simultaneously discover an [[{{Phlebotinum}} amazing new metallic compound]] capable of being molded into [[RidiculouslyFastConstruction vehicles and equipment at fantastic speeds]] and possessed of unique organic properties. Just as quickly, both sides begin to think about how this new material could further their efforts in the UsefulNotes/ColdWar. The US forms the National Space Defense Force. The Soviet Union in turn forms the [[SovietSuperscience Cosmo Colonist Army]]. Both nations [[{{Masquerade}} sneak their armies into space under the guise of the "Space Race".]]

[[AlternateHistory Thus begins a new, hidden chapter]] of the UsefulNotes/ColdWar, the one too brutal to televise. The player's character, American tank pilot and battlefield commander [[PlayerCharacter Grizzly One]], attempts to lead his forces to victory against the Soviets whilst unraveling the mysteries of the bio-metal his superiors command him to kill in order to obtain.

An expansion was released later that same year, developed by TeamEvolve, dubbed ''The Red Odyssey''. It takes place largely on Ganymede and [[GaidenGame is contemporaneous with]] the events on the other Galilean moons of the original game. The NSDF Black Dogs, a RagTagBunchOfMisfits who get all the worst missions, have been assigned to Ganymede, a relative backwater in the scope of the conflict going on. Suddenly, a new enemy in Red China attacks, sparking a conflict that eventually takes the player to a distant planet called "Elysium". The CCA are also tangentially involved.

The game was [[{{Reformulatedgame}} rebuilt]] in 2000 to the N64 - ''Battlezone: Rise of the Black Dogs'' - It added a third campaign featuring the Black Dogs squadron. They use modified American equipment, and the bomber pilot is a hippie. The only narration is in the opening of the American campaign and the plot is hard to glean, all communications besides the pre-recorded responses to orders are sent via squint-o-vision text messages in the corner of the screen.

A sequel, ''[=BattleZone=] II: Combat Commander'', released in late 1999, was developed by Pandemic Studios and set in the late 1990s of this alternate history. It was less well-received for abandoning the highly original UsefulNotes/ColdWar plot in favor of a more standard UN vs. Aliens setup, though it had its fair share of twists. The player this time is John Cooke, a lieutenant in the new International Space Defense Force, [[{{Masquerade}} ostensibly intended]] to safeguard humankind from extrasolar threats. Cue the arrival of a mysterious alien foe, The Scions. A first-person shooter/real-time strategy game experience similar to the original ensues.

A fan made expansion dubbed ''Forgotten Enemies'' takes place after [[spoiler: The Scion ending]], in which the golden age of Bio-metal began with peace treaties between the ISDF and Scions... Until a salvo of bio-metal tipped IPBM's were launched toward the new Scion Core world from a base on Pluto, Braddock's personal {{Dead Man Switch}}. Barely any of the Scion population survive and they lose the core unit to the world after ejecting it and a lot of infamy spreads about the ISDF. In response, they dissolve not long after the ''Night of Infamy'', it wasn't until the Scions came under attack from the Hadean Crown when in search of a new planet to colonize, in response, the few remains of ISDF forces form the EDF to counterattack and defend Earth. Later, the ''Fleshstorm'' mods (1 and 2) were released, taking place after ''Forgotten Enemies''. The mods introduces two new playable races:[[HordeOfAlienLocusts The Swarm]], and the [[TheRemnant Phaer Ran]].

The mods, all the patches, maps, and so on, are available on [[http://www.battlezone1.com Battlezone1]] and [[http://www.bzscrap.org/downloads/ BZScrap]].

''Battlezone 1998'' was updated in 2009 by a former developer (Ken Miller) to version 1.5xx, which resolves almost all compatibility issues with the game, improved the [[ArtificialStupidity dreadful AI]], and improved the game's rendering engine.

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'''Battlezone provides examples of:'''
* AbnormalAmmo: All of your weapons utilize the same pool of ammunition, courtesy of NanoMachines. What they actually ''fire'' varies greatly, from bog-standard [[MoreDakka bullets and cannon shells]] [[FrickinLaserBeams to lasers and microwave beams.]]
* ACommanderIsYou
* AllThereInTheManual: A considerable amount of BackStory information can be found in the manual, [[FramingDevice framed as the field operations manual for the NSDF]]. There are many letters, from and to then-President DwightDEisenhower, [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure General George Collins]], and other commanders, scientists and such. There are also analysis of potential celestial bodies to visit, in-depth technical specifications on NSDF weapons and vehicles, as well as "field intelligence" on CCA vehicles that includes their ReportingNames.
* AncientAstronauts: The alien ships and structures are all named after Greek gods, and it is outright stated that the race which created them, the Cthonians, [[spoiler: visited and did experiments on the Greeks in the ancient world.]]
* AndIMustScream: Arguably, [[spoiler:the Furies themselves, being living tissue fused directly into the hulls of bio-metal war machines. Though whether they are sentient is not really clear, as their favorite pastime seems to be [[UnstoppableRage blind rage and destruction.]] They also may be a rather twisted example of TheUndead.]]
* ArtificialStupidity: Scavengers are infamous for running the player over when on foot. Units will sometimes get stuck in buildings, or taking meandering paths for no apparent reason. The AI was (partially) improved in the 2011 1.5 patch.
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: Despite the use of scientifically accurate data to describe the worlds visitable in the game, Battlezone's game mechanics don't vary much to match the environment of each planet. Some examples:
** The mobile structures have to be set up on steam geysers for power. The Moon is geologically dead and has no ([[ScienceMarchesOn liquid]]) water, and Europa is an iceball, yet they are still easy to find.
** Tanks handle the same on planets like Venus (Earth-like gravity, dense atmosphere) and planetoids like the Moon (0.2g, airless).
** Although the game offers several forms of power-producing structures depending on the planetary conditions, what's available doesn't always jive with environment. For example, out by Saturn the Sun's brightness is only about 1/100th of that on Earth, yet solar panel plants can be built there.
* AttackItsWeakPoint: While on foot you can snipe the driver of an enemy vehicle and commandeer it. The spot you need to hit is helpfully pointed out to you by a glowing orange light on the vehicle.
* BackStory: Any exposition about the Cthonians.
* [[spoiler: BolivianArmyEnding: Grizzly One wishes the best to those who find a fallen meteor...]]
* BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu: [[spoiler: The NSDF and CCA destroy the Furies, but at the cost of much of the technology they fought the war over. The Cthonians, meanwhile, sacrificed their entire species to destroy them.]]
* CaptainsLog: Each mission starts off with a spoken journal recording by Grizzly One, detailing his thoughts and feelings about being in a UsefulNotes/ColdWar [[TheGreatestStoryNeverTold gone hot]].
* CharacterCustomization: Each vehicle has a number of modular weapon hardpoints. You can upgrade from the weapons you begin a level with by ordering an Armory to build you new ones.
* UsefulNotes/ColdWar: Gone hot in secret, with the United States' NSDF versus the Soviet Union's CCA.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: NSDF vehicles and buildings tend to be black with white and blue detailing with yellow indicating utility vehicles, while CCA ones are red-on-white with completely red for utility vehicles.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Averted, [[ArtisticLicensePhysics though it brings up another issue entirely]] - The lava on Io will damage your tank as you hover over it, but heat convection requires a medium - and Io has only a trace atmosphere.
* CosmeticallyDifferentSides: NSDF and CCA units are roughly equivalent to each other. NSDF units on the whole are faster, CCA ones better armored.
* CoversAlwaysLie: The cover for the 1998 game features a tank that doesn't exist in the game which has red flaming exhaust and an independently aimed turret - neither of which are in the first game.
* DeathFromAbove: Various mortar weapons can be equipped on vehicles that can use them. Each side also has a mobile, deployable artillery unit: The NSDF "Longbow" and the CCA "Cannoneer". At least two missions require you to ascend plateaus to take out artillery units.
** Given a conveniently placed nearby cliff, it's often possible to drop directly into an enemy base, bypassing perimeter defenses. This is even a mission objective in one Venus level in the NSDF campaign.
** The Armory has no direct-damage weapons, but nonetheless has one of the nastiest attacks in the game: the [[MeaningfulName Day Wrecker]] bomb, which you can order it to catapult to a location of your choosing, as with any PowerUp.
* DifficultySpike: After the Furies are introduced, losing your tank changes from a minor inconvenience into a death sentence.
* DyingAlone: Grizzly One's deepest fear.
* EarthShatteringKaboom: Happens in the BackStory to Icarus, the Cthonian homeworld, which once occupied an orbit between Mars and Jupiter. [[spoiler: Occurs again at the end of the game on Achilles, a moon of Uranus that curiously resembled Earth, in a tragic case of HistoryRepeats.]]
* EliteMooks: The Black Dogs, an elite, hardened NSDF squadron fought in the Soviet campaign. Their vehicles are armed with more powerful weapons then their base NSDF counterparts. Then of course, there are [[spoiler: the Furies.]]
* [[spoiler: EnemyMine: All but decimated by the Furies, the surviving forces of the NSDF and CCA must team up to stand against them. It is now better to be Red then dead.]]
* EnemyDetectingRadar: Every vehicle is equipped with this, and also gives off a signature that can be detected by everybody else. [[HomingProjectile The Comet Cruise missile uses this to track targets.]] The RED-Field Generator, or Radar Echo Dampening Field Generator, can fool said missile as it completely masks the radar signature of the vehicle using it. The sequel gives every unit radar-specific stats; blip rate, detection radar, and inherent stealth. Turrets, for example, cannot be detected through terrain, and scout units have a huge radar range with a fast blip rate, while assault vehicles radar barely extends to their weapons range.
* TheFaceless: No character's face is ever shown, with one exception; at the end of the final Europa level, you get a closeup of a dead CCA soldier, [[{{Squick}} his faceplate shattered]] [[BodyHorror and his face frozen.]]
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath / CruelAndUnusualDeath: Completing the Europa missions for the NSDF shows a screen of a bloated CCA soldier half-buried in the snow with his faceplate shattered. Dying during the Soviet campaign will show a picture of your character's skeleton in a heavily damaged spacesuit.
* FirstPersonShooter: Your perspective in-game, whether operating a tank or on-foot with a rifle and sniper scope.
* FluffyTheTerrible: Fury ships carry the "Bolt Buddy", a rapid-fire lightning cannon which is one of the most terrifyingly powerful weapons in the game.
* ForbiddenZone: During the scrap-gathering mission on Titan, it's possible to come across [[spoiler: the remains of a Cthonian prison, [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Tartarus.]] Inspecting it reveals that it was built by [[RivalsTeamUp both Cthonian factions]]]]. Your CO analyzes the situation and advises you to ''[[SealedEvilInACan stay away.]]''
* FrickinLaserBeams: The Blast Cannon and the Flash Cannon ([[InSeriesNickname Also known as the Hot Foot]]), though the latter is actually [[DisintegratorRay a microwave beam.]]
* GenreBusting
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold: At first, this was because Eisenhower wished to keep at least ''one project'' a secret from the Soviets. Included in his memo is the mention that the NSDF would report to no-one, not even him, and that future administrations would have no knowledge of the organization. This {{Masquerade}} would eventually be broken by events leading up to the sequel.
* HandWave: Quite a few, among them the concept of Equal Damage Distribution, or EDD, armor plating, which serves to handwave the lack of location-based damage in the game. However, the fact that the tanks [[HoverTank hover]] is never even handwaved.
* HellIsThatNoise: [[spoiler:That tweaking or whatever you call the sound all the Furies make. The buzz of the Fury missile can also count.]]
* HistoryRepeats: A particularly poignant case. Grizzly One, [[TheHero the protagonist]], speaks this trope verbatim in the introduction and his thoughts echo the concept throughout the story. In the end, he was completely right. And it wouldn't be the last time, either.
* HistoricalInJoke: The famous photo of Neil Armstrong on the moon was taken by General Collins, commander of the NSDF moon base located scant meters from Neil's landing site. NSA thought it was a major mistake to release the picture.
* HoverTank: All of the in-game vehicles save the walkers, one of the more obvious benefits of Cthonian technology.
* HomingProjectile: Several kinds. The ILS (Image Locking Shadower) missile locks onto the visual signature of a target but can be spoofed by the Phantom VIR device or simply ducking behind cover. The "TAG Cannon" fires a homing tag, followed by a swarm of missiles. The "Thermal Hornet" tracks heat signatures but can be diverted by "Solar Flare" mines. The "Comet" Cruise Missile locks onto radar signatures but can be shaken off by the RED-Field Generator. There's also the slow-moving, massively damaging missiles used by [[spoiler: the Furies]], which cannot be fooled but [[ShootTheBullet can be destroyed in-flight]] as they hover off the ground. [[VideoGame/{{Battlezone1980}} Sound familiar?]]
* HumongousMecha: The NSDF "Sasquatch" and CCA "Golem" walker units, courtesy of Cthonian war tech.
* InNameOnly: It has almost nothing in common with the earlier game, except one shot in the intro that shows a vector-based radar screen on the panel of a hovertank. Then again, the earlier game didn't have a ''plot''. That said, the Furies and their weapons are heavily based on the original's saucers.
* ItCanThink: It's never made clear if [[spoiler: the Furies]] have any semblance of free thought. If they do, it makes their unflinching sadism that much more unsettling.
* LandMineGoesClick: In addition to various specialist mine types, there are standard proximity mines. These have the ability to distinguish friend from foe and will not harm friendly units. Used en-masse by NSDF "Unabomber" and CCA "Molotov" minelayers.
* LightningGun: [[spoiler: Fury saucers and tanks]] are armed with these. Their mines also function as such, zapping nearby enemies as opposed to detonating.
* LethalJokeWeapon: the hard-to find Rave Gun, available in the tutorial mission, slots in for a cannon. It's extremely lethal, and uses minimal ammo. When fired, it plays techno music and shoots balls of flashing multicolored light.
* {{Masquerade}}: The opening text and cinematics tell the story of the US cover-up. NASA is a front, and the Apollo landing is used to hide the launches of the military bio-metal expeditions. The most brilliant shot in the whole game is right at the beginning; a camera rotates around Apollo 11, to show an entire army base on the other side.
* [[DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist Losing Your Tank Is A Slap On The Wrist]]: Losing a tank is never that big a deal, early on; it's not that hard to blast a CCA pilot and hijack his tank. Averted once [[spoiler: the Furies]] appear; you can't hijack them and the tremendous blast radius of their missiles will most likely kill anyone on foot. And that's if they don't relentlessly chase you down and fry you with their LightningGun.
* LostTechnology: The whole reason the Americans and Soviets are fighting it out on other planets in the first place.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: The TAG (Automated Targeting Gun) Cannon, standard on the CCA "Stoli" Light Tank (which occasionally makes them DemonicSpiders). It first fires a harmless "tag" projectile. If this makes contact with a valid target, the weapon then fires a storm of seeking missiles.
* MagneticWeapons: The "MAG Cannon", or Magnetic Acceleration Gun. It fires a [[ChargedAttack Charged]] magnetic blast. Depending on how long the weapon is charged, it can fire a string of weaker projectiles, a shorter burst of larger ones, or a single very large blast.
** There are also defensive MagneticWeapons: The M-Curtain, or Magnetic Curtain, deploys a mine that projects a magnetic field around it, reflecting all incoming projectiles. A clever pilot may park his tank within the field, firing out of the field without fear of counterfire. The MITS (Magnetic Inversion Tethering Snare) Mine just does the opposite, pulling all projectiles inward towards it.
* MobileFactory: The Recycler, Factory, and Armory.
* {{Narrator}}: Grizzly One himself, who speaks in the introduction and over the loading screen for each mission. His tone and mood are always dour, and he often laments his situation and that of his comrades who get left to die in the dust on hostile, distant planets. [[TheGreatestStoryNeverTold He also regrets that no one on Earth will ever know who he was or why he did what he did.]]
* NeglectfulPrecursors: The Cthonians, though considering what happened to them, it probably could not be helped.
* NintendoHard: The Red Odyssey expansion pack, ''especially'' the Chinese campaign.
* NoCanonForTheWicked: Notably, [[AvertedTrope averted.]] The CCA campaign [[GaidenGame is contemporaneous]] with the events of the NSDF one, taking place between the Soviets escaping Mars to Venus with the [[spoiler: Cthonian Flight Log Database]] and [[spoiler: Furies turning against them on Titan.]] It's unknown if the Chinese campaign in Red Odyssey is canon (or indeed the Black Dog one), as it is not touched on in the sequel.
** As for the expansion itself, the Chinese campaign is a prequel to the Black Dogs' campaign.
* PhlebotinumRebel: The Furies.
* {{Precursors}}: The Cthonians, SufficientlyAdvancedAliens who created the [[{{Unobtainium}} Bio-metal.]] [[spoiler: A superweapon one-up war ensued, with Cthonian MadScientist Nexus V topping all by creating [[SealedEvilInACan The Furies]] ([[PoweredByAForsakenChild out of humans]], by the way), who [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters turned on him]] and forced the Cthonians to deploy a DoomsDayDevice that [[EarthShatteringKaboom destroyed their homeworld]] [[{{Gotterdammerung}} and their entire race along with the Furies]] but [[HeroicSacrifice spared humankind.]]]]
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: The protagonist of the main story, referred to as Grizzly One. The same for the character of the Soviet "[[HarderThanHard expert difficulty]]" campaign, called simply "comrade".
** Averted by the StrategyGuide, which names both player characters.
* [[spoiler: PyrrhicVictory: The remnants of the NSDF and CCA succeed in defeating the Furies, but [[BolivianArmyEnding likely at the cost of their own lives.]]]]
* RealTimeStrategy: The player can command any other units he has built either from his perspective or the satellite view.
* ReportingNames: All of the CCA vehicles have these, given to them by the NSDF analysts. Their actual designations are never revealed.
* [[spoiler: SealedEvilInACan: The Furies, not-so-mindlessly violent {{Attack Animal}}s.]]
* SentryGun: The NSDF "Badger" and CCA "Pak" mobile, deployable turrets, as well has hardened gun towers built by each side's constructors.
* ShellShockedVeteran: [[spoiler: Grizzly One]]
-->''I wish the best to those who find [[spoiler: a [[EarthShatteringKaboom fallen meteor]]... who uncover a [[TheGreatestStoryNeverTold little secret]]... who follow the [[TrailOfBreadCrumbs trail]]... who reconstruct [[SealedEvilInACan my nightmare]]]]''
* ShockwaveStomp: The "Thumper" special weapon sends a seismic pulse through the ground in front of your tank, damaging structures and upending enemy vehicles. [[AllThereInTheManual The manual mentions that the]] [[LampshadeHanging NSDF eggheads aren't quite sure how it works.]]
* ShownTheirWork: [[HandWave Hand Waves]] due to alien tech aside, the manual details how the NSDF intended to support it's various field bases, including power concerns and oxygen supplies. For example, plans are laid out for an irrigation system on Io, to prevent bases from getting buried in sulfur dust.
* StandardStatusEffects: The "Sandbag" non-locking missile inflicts "Slow" on targets by way of sticking any target hit with a magnetic anchoring device.
* StuffBlowingUp: Frequently. Everything that can be destroyed, blows up in a suitably graphic fashion, leaving behind bits of scrap for later scavenging. Many of the weapons are designed with this in mind, specifically the aptly-named [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Rocket Bomb]]: A Hornet heat-seeking missile with the "heat-seeking" part taken out and [[BuffySpeak extra boom]] added in. Standard issue on the NSDF "Thunderbolt" and CCA "Grendel" bombers.
* {{Unobtainium}}: The Bio-Metal, which is used to build all vehicles, buildings, and weapons in the game. It has the ability to remember shapes it has previously assumed, which is what allowed US and Soviet scientists to recreate Cthonian-styled vehicles and weapons in the first place. It is commonly found as bits of scrap in great fields anywhere the Cthonians have been, and can also be salvaged from destroyed enemy units. Also a MineralMacGuffin - they don't refer to the events of this game as "The Bio-Metal Wars" in the sequel for nothing. Serves as a PlotCoupon in some missions.
* TakeYourTime: No matter how urgent the mission briefing sounds, there are only two timed missions.
* TimedMission: Subverted: an early Mars NSDF mission tasks you with attacking a CCA base, but the time limit barely gives you enough time to assemble a base that can run itself. However, just when it seems time is going to run out, an MIA squad attacks the CCA base to buy you time, which ends the timer. [[spoiler: Played straight in the Europa mission where you must intercept a transmission, and in the final mission: if you can't get off Achilles in time, you will be left behind.]]
* TropeCodifier: Of RealTimeStrategy games played from the POV of a central 'general' instead of an 'all-knowing eye in the sky', which would be used in later games such as ''VideoGame/{{Sacrifice}}'' and ''VideoGame/BrutalLegend'', and also through the possession mode in ''VideoGame/DungeonKeeper''.
* UnstoppableRage: [[spoiler: The Furies,]] due to an "aggression factor" designed into the type of Bio-Metal they are built of. They are so driven by raw hate that they will abandon whatever they are doing to chase down an enemy. This can prove a weakness: Your superiors advise baiting them into traps.
* UnusableEnemyEquipment: [[AvertedTrope Completely averted.]] Any enemy vehicle can be hijacked. [[spoiler: The Furies play this straight... except in the last mission of the Soviet campaign, where a prototype of the basic saucer Fury is not only buildable, but ''pilotable.'']]
** [[spoiler: There is also a different type of Fury saucer that's pilotable on the deathmatch map ''Odin's Eye'' but it's locked in by several [=MITS=] mines inside the "eye" of a mountain.]]
* WeakTurretGun: The NSDF Badger turret and the equivalent CCA Pak, which can hover around and then anchor themselves in the ground virtually anywhere to fire. They are mostly intended to provide point defense in conjunction with your tanks until you can build the much stronger static defenses. However, they ''can'' be equipped with better guns, thanks to the game's modular weapon system...
* XRayVision: The SITE (Sensory Image Terrain Exposing) Camera allows you to see through terrain features to visually locate enemy targets beyond them. Bonus points for explicitly being an "X-Ray device".

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'''Battlezone II features:'''

''Note that a number of the tropes from the first game also apply here.''

* AbnormalAmmo: ISDF ammunition is mostly bullets, cannon shells and missiles with the occasional EnergyWeapon, but Scion weaponry runs the gamut from plasma cannons to lightning guns and razor-sharp quill launchers. All this with the same shared ammo system from the first game.
* AliensAreBastards: And want to kill us all, or so General Armand Braddock would have you believe. [[spoiler: [[InvertedTrope They [[Transhuman aren't really alien at all]] and actually just want to bring the enlightened Cthonian culture back to humanity.]]
* AllThereInTheManual: The manual for this game uses a similar FramingDevice to the first, this time as the ISDF's field manual. It contains profiles on the major characters and some letters, among them a transcript from the black box of Major Manson's Wolverine tank concerning a [[ContinuityNod a battle on Titan against the Furies,]] which would seem to indicate he (and possibly others) survived the Bio-Metal Wars. [[spoiler: Given Braddock's later deception, UnreliableNarrator may be at play in said passage - the date implies the Furies are actually escaping Scions.]]
* AlternateHistory: Set several decades after the Bio-Metal Wars depicted in the first game, it's now TheNineties. Biometal is public knowledge, and the ISDF (the merged CCA and NSDF forces from the first game) is a known, public military force.
* ArtificialStupidity: The pathfinding. Unless the commander builds nothing in front of (or anywhere near) their factory and recycler, scavengers will ''always'' decide to ram into them to get scrap 100 meters away on the other side of the building. Said scavengers will also get stuck on each other when trying to get scrap between them, or gleefully plow into a deadly lake when trying to grab scrap near the shore. Heavy treaded tanks often don't take into account their own inertia and the low gravity of the environments, causing them to go tumbling into lethal lakes.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The Pulse-Stabber cannon, which is basically a variant of the standard AT-Stabber. When you fire the Pulse-Stabber, it shoots a cannon shell that pulses out bursts of radiation, damaging everything that passes near the shell, even if the shell doesn't actually hit them. However, it starts pulsing ''immediately'' after you shoot it, meaning that it'll damage you if you fire while moving forward. Largely useless (but awesome) in the standard game, it becomes far more useful in the ''Fleshstorm'' mod, to kill the hordes of weak Swarm units.
* BaseOnWheels: The ISDF Recycler and Scion Matriarch roll to their deployment site and unfold into a giant factory.
* BigBad: Scion Padishah Frank Burns. [[spoiler: Or so your character is made to think. Braddock is the real monster.]]
* BlindJump: When a wormhole opens up on the Dark Planet, General Braddock orders his carrier (and by extension, [[PlayerCharacter you]]) to follow the Scion dropship through the portal, without having any idea where it leads.
* BubblegloopSwamp: Planet Mire.
* CaptainsLog: Like the first game, each mission starts off with a spoken journal record by John Cooke, which shows his divided loyalties between [[GeneralRipper General Braddock]] and the empathetic [[AFatherToHisMen Major Manson]] when [[BlindJump stranded halfway across the universe]].
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: The ISDF use orange body panel with exposed gray interiors on their tanks, yellow for support units, and blue and black for flying units. The Scions use dark gray, blue, and yellow highlights on their tanks, and brown and yellow on support units.
* ColorCodedMultiplayer: Strategy and [[CoOpMultiplayer MPI]] game modes default to Team 1 having red units and Team 2 having blue units. Free-for-all strategy has Yellow and Green. In deathmatch, each player is given a random color at the start of the round - every player fears the neon pink [[HumongousMecha Attila]].
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Averted. If you hop out of your tank and walk to the edge of a lava lake, you ''will'' die. Hovertanks flying over lava will slowly take damage from the heat.
* CoOpMultiplayer: The MPI mode (Players versus AI) has one player take on the role of the [[ACommanderIsYou Commander]], who builds units and buildings. Other players on his/her team can be given units to order around personally, and they generally do most of the fighting against the AI team, leaving the commander and his mooks to defend the base.
* CrewOfOne
* CutscenePowerToTheMax: The introduction shows Scion Warrior tanks killing turrets, tanks, and guntowers with a single shot, and depicts them mounting MAG cannons, which are an ISDF-exclusive weapon.
* DarkWorld: The [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin aptly-named Dark Planet]], though not so much in the sense of this trope as being a planet that is really, really dark, but unnaturally so, with a permanent planet-wide electrical storm. It ''does'' [[AlienGeometries feature unnaturally geometric terrain]] and a sense that something is just... [[EldritchLocation wrong, about the place.]] [[spoiler: Though the planet's origin is never made clear, what is apparent is that it is ripe to be terraformed into a clone of the Scion's adopted homeworld, Core.]]
* DefectorFromDecadence: [[spoiler:[[{{Lzherusskie}} Yelena Shabayev, your commanding officer.]] After disappearing on Bane in a DropShip crash and [[NeverFoundTheBody being presumed dead]], she later reappears on Rend as a Scion, urging you not to side with the power-hungry Braddock. Major Manson is this as well, who forms an ISDF splinter-group of Earth-Government loyalists against Braddock, who at that point plans to return to Earth in force and institute a military dictatorship.]]
* DoomsDayDevice: What the ISDF believe the massive machines found on Rend, Mire and Bane to be. [[spoiler: They're not. They're part of a [[{{Terraform}} terraformation]] system intended to transform the Dark Planet into a new Core, as the old one is somehow "dying" and [[KeystoneArmy taking the Scions with it in droves.]]]]
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Braddock's address to his troops on Titan, [[AllThereInTheManual found in the manual,]] has suspiciously similar language to WarOnTerror rhetoric, though the game is older than such.
* DropShip: The ISDF uses a massive vectored-thrust dropship with a detachable hangar in order to ferry its assets the surface of planets, as the ISDF Carrier is too large to land on a planet.
* EmergencyTransformation: [[spoiler: The Scions, apparently.]]
* TheEngineer: The Constructor/Builder units, and the Service Truck/Healer units. The Constructor/Builder sets up all the base equipment, and the Service Truck/Healer repairs base assets and vehicles.
* EscortMission: At one point on [[SlippySlideyIceWorld Bane]] you must guide a damaged [[BaseOnWheels Recycler]] across a frozen lake. The Recycler's operator informs you that his sensor system is fried, but if you shoot out all the thinner ice patches, thus creating a path, he radios you that he can make the trip on his own. Doesn't make his [[ArtificialStupidity pathfinding]] any better though. HilarityEnsues as you sit watching him bumble around.
** The ''Fleshstorm 2'' mod has two escort missions in a row. In one, you have to escort three unarmed transports through some canyons; not too bad. The second mission has you escorting a Recycler through a planet that is ''on fire''. You have a single Service Truck, Scout, and Assault Tank to help you. The entire mission is a balancing act between repairing each of your vehicles with the Truck, and pushing ahead to wipe out resistance - if you push too far ahead or take too much damage, you can't make it back to the repair truck before dying. The best part? If you eject, ''you die''.
* [[spoiler: EverybodysDeadDave: The bad ending, where you side with Braddock. Every other named character is dead, and you return to earth a "hero". [[WasItReallyWorthIt But was it worth it?]] In this ending, humanity never gets to know what the Scions were really trying to accomplish.]]
* FacelessGoons: The Scion pilots; nothing is visible behind the yellow-blue tinfoil hat... thing on their head. ISDF pilots on the other hand, have a face visible behind their visor.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath / CruelAndUnusualDeath: Dying as an ISDF soldier shows you a [[http://i.imgur.com/x9ZiJeR.jpg failure screen]] with your avatar exploding and simultaneously being ripped apart from a plasma cannon shot. Dying as a Scion shows a failure screen with your character [[ImMelting melting into a pool of biometal, with only a hand reaching out]].
* FieldPromotion: Cooke is promoted by General Braddock over the course of the game.
* ForeShadowing: Long before you gain any insight into the Scions' true nature you can hear personal messages sent between Frank Burns and Braddock, almost as if they were [[TheRival old rivals]]...
** [[AllThereInTheManual If you read the manual,]] Shabayev's [[spoiler: DefectorFromDecadence moment is [[ForeShadowing Foreshadowed]] by]] her psychiatric evaluation's note of her having an "[[LampshadeHanging overdeveloped sense of justice.]]"
* FragileSpeedster: The ISDF Mortar Bike, ISDF Scout, and Scion Drone. Both the Scout and Drone have a pitiful amount of armor but have excellent radar and are very quick - particularly the Drone which can fit a Blink teleporter. The Mortar Bike has even less armor which is combined with a weapon that tends to inflict self-damage, and was so fast that it ''broke the game's netcode'' until the 1.3 patch dropped it to more reasonable levels.
* GameMod: Many.
** The ''Forgotten Enemies'' mod adds a whole new campaign longer than the original game's, and adds two new playable races.
** The ''Fleshstorm'' and ''Fleshstorm 2'' mods add three new races (two of which are playable), and both have a NintendoHard campaign.
* GeneralRipper: Braddock, [[spoiler: Ex-MadScientist turned would-be dictator. This guy is such a JerkAss that siding with the Scions against him leads to the game's ''good'' ending.]]
* HumongousMecha: The ISDF Attila LM walker, which has two giant laser cannons on its arms and two smaller lasers under the cockpit. The Scion's [[SpiderTank Spider-Walker]] is more of a MiniMecha by comparison.
* ImMelting: The failure screen for the Scion campaign shows your character melting into a pool of biometal.
* InstantWinCondition: Destroying the other team's Recycler in multiplayer will instantly win the game.
* LargeHam: Braddock.
* LaserSight: Switching to third person activates a laser sight on your tank, emanating from the weapon's mount, to assist with aiming. However, they are only visible to the player using them.
* LatexSpaceSuit: ISDF troops have form-fitting space suits, with a built-in armored chest-piece.
* LethalLavaLand: Planet Rend.
* LightningBruiser: The ISDF Sabre and the Scion Warrior. The best armor for any of the hover units, good speed, great firepower, good maneuverability.
* LightningGun: The Scion Arc cannon. It shoots five quick lightning pulses with great range and accuracy, at the cost of low ammo capacity and low fire rate.
* LongRunner: Despite the game coming out in ''1999'', updates ''still'' come out, adding new graphical capabilities (like dynamic shadows), DX9 support, fixing the netcode, and so on.
* MajorlyAwesome: Major Manson. He's a morally conscious officer, leads from the front lines, [[spoiler: [[HeelFaceTurn assists the Scions]]]], and fought during the conflict from the first game, in the 1960s, making him in his [[BadassGrandpa late 60s to early 70s]]
* {{Masquerade}}: The first game's Masquerade is broken, Earth knows all about Bio-Metal, though the details of the Bio-Metal Wars as depicted in the first game are still the subject of WikiLeaks-style guerrilla journalism. [[spoiler: [[TheGreatestStoryNeverTold nobody remembers Grizzly One, though.]] Instead we have Braddock's personal Masquerade in attempting to hide the true identity of the Scions and cloaking his own operations on Pluto and the Dark Planet from the eyes of the AAN.]]
** The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oewk8TX6KSs&t=27s intro]] brilliantly {{lampshades}} this: the Voyager 2 approaches the Dark Planet, starts to scan the surface and finds a military base which launches a missile at the probe. Said probe then switches into "battle mode", retracting it's antennas and jettisoning the big comm dish in favor of dual plasma cannons and the ISDF/AAN logo. Wonder how the ISDF managed to pack THAT into a little space probe without anyone noticing...
* MultipleEndings: Two, depending on whether you [[spoiler: transport the wounded Scion leader to [[FateWorseThanDeath Braddock,]] or return him to the Scions and join their cause.]]
* TheMole: In the BackStory. Shabayev was an FSB ([[RussiansWithRustingRockets The successor to the]] KGB) agent who had infiltrated the highest levels of the CIA. When she was uncovered, she was recommended for ISDF recruitment instead of punishment.
* {{Narrator}}: In the tradition of the first game, loading screens feature narration by the player character, in this case one John Cooke. He describes himself as having once been a simple farm boy, gazing up at the stars, always dreaming of one day visiting them. Now that he finally has, he finds that the universe [[CrapsackWorld is far crueler]] then he could have ever imagined.
* NotPlayingFairWithResources: The AI has a "scrap cheat" which gives them a small amount of resources every minute, but they still need to gather resources to get any decent units. Later patches allow the player to disable it for the AI, or give it to themselves.
* [[spoiler: NewEraSpeech: Padishah Frank Burns. [[SubvertedTrope subverted]], as Burns is no longer considered a villain at this point, he delivers this speech in the good ending.]]
* ObviousBeta: Shipped with a completely broken multiplayer component and a plethora of glitches. Most glitches were fixed quickly, but some weren't fixed until the unofficial patches (by the original programmer) started coming out.
* OhCrap: At one point in some Cthonian ruins on Bane, you discover a small transmission unit. Almost immediately, Braddock orders the area bombed to shreds, giving you scant minutes to evacuate the area. [[spoiler: You later find out why: the transmitter in question bore [[ContinuityNod the insignia of the Black Dog squadron.]]]]
* PhlebotinumRebel: [[spoiler: The Scions turn out to be this, [[SecretProjectRefugeeFamily having escaped Braddock's attempt to create super soldiers]].]]
* PlayingWithSyringes: In case you're wondering why [[spoiler: Braddock is such a {{Jerkass}},]] here's what went down. [[spoiler: Braddock attempted to create [[SuperSoldier Super Soldiers]] using [[ContinuityNod the NSDF's Black Dogs]] and the Bio-Metal, without the knowledge of his AAN superiors. The Black Dogs, led by Frank Burns, [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters rebelled against him for his deceit and what he did to them,]] fleeing into the depths of space. [[{{Masquerade}} Braddock could not pursue without attracting attention, so he built a base on Pluto and eventually the Dark Planet, preparing for their inevitable return.]]]]
* PlutoIsExpendable: [[AvertedTrope Averted.]] Pluto is the first planet that appears in the game and was the site of the ISDF's [[MeaningfulName Cerberus]] base, ostensibly intended to keep watch for any alien incursions into the Solar System.
* PowerCrystal: Three, which act as power sources for the Scions' "Alchemator" devices.
* UnreliableNarrator: The "ISDF: A Secret History" letter in the manual implies that the Scions were involved in the events of the first game. Instead of the [[spoiler: Soviets recreating a Cthonian superweapon in the Furies, they were created from the Black Dogs by Braddock back on Earth, and he formed the ISDF from the NSDF and CCA to fight them, rather then a union of necessity forged on Titan when the Soviet Furies rebelled.]] Braddock also [[RedHerring refers to the Scions as Furies]] on several occasions.
* SequelDifficultyDrop: ''Combat Commander'' is a much less brutal game than ''1998'' was; you have a limitless source (though limited storage) of biometal from the biometal pools, units as a whole have a ''lot'' more health, and your own units are much more competent and [[ArtificialStupidity less likely to run you over]] than they were in the first game.
* SergeantRock: Major Manson.
* ShortRangeShotgun: The ISDF Pummel gun. The top range is 50 meters (out-ranged by ''everything'' in the game, save for the Scion Quill and Fang), and the effective range is about a fifth of that.
* SlippySlideyIceWorld: Planet Bane. [[RuleOfThree Noticing a pattern yet?]]
* SpaceIsNoisy: Comes into play on planets with little or no known atmosphere in both games.
** For ''Battlezone 2'', the ISDF blast-laser's assault variant makes a "bang" noise when fired. This is not unrealistic, because real-life pulsed lasers also go make noise as the channel of air they pass through rapidly heats up and expands, producing blast waves. Same thing happens in the target, a tiny portion of it instantly and brutally vaporizes, sending destructive shockwaves throughout it. However, it also goes makes noise on planets with little or no known atmosphere.
* SpiderTank: The Scions have a ''three-legged'' one that shoots [[AbnormalAmmo razor-sharp quills]].
* StealthBasedMission: At one point you must navigate the swamps and jungles of Mire on foot, avoiding Scion patrols, to reach an ISDF base. You ''could'' snipe a Scion vehicle and use that to make the journey faster, but you'll likely end up [[LightningGun just getting fried by the Lightning Towers.]]
* StockScream: A few Scion units reuse voice clips from the first game, albeit with the Scions' VoiceOfTheLegion-ish filter. [[spoiler: This may actually be [[JustifiedTrope justified,]] considering the Scions were once the NSDF's Black Dog squadron.]]
** Oddly enough, most of the Scion voices are the [[spoiler: CCA/Soviet]] voices from ''Battlezone'' with the filter added, and the radio static removed.
* [[spoiler: TimedMission: The escape from Core after you have destroyed its main reactor, the final mission of the "bad" path.]]
* SuperDrowningSkills: Pilots and walkers can stay immersed underwater indefinitely. Treaded units such as the Scavenger or Assault Tank will begin to take damage the instant their treads are immersed in water, as if they water were lava.
* TechDemoGame: The game brought powerful computers to their knees in order to power its [[SceneryPorn unmatched graphics]].
* TheFaceless: Despite the large amount of character interaction this game has, especially when compared to the first game, you only see ''one'' character's face. [[spoiler: On the mission where you need to retrieve Padishah Burns from the crashed carrier, you can hop out of your tank and look at his chariot thing, with Burns sitting in it.]]
* TheFederation: The AAN, an UN-like organization intended to help fairly distribute bio-metal amongst developing nations.
* TheReveal: Several, mostly concerning the Scions, Braddock's dark past and everything that happened as a result. [[spoiler: Near the end of the game, either Braddock or Burns will tell you everything you didn't already know or figure out.]]
* TruceZone: Later in the game, Ambassador Kossieh of the AAN attempts to broker a human-Scion truce on Rend. The player and a detachment of ISDF troops wait around in a Scion base while Frank Burns boards a DropShip to meet with Kossieh on a Carrier in low orbit. [[spoiler: Until the DropShip explodes in the Carrier, sending it plummeting to the surface. You later learn that [[MoralEventHorizon Braddock rigged the DropShip, to off both Burns AND Kossieh]] [[FalseFlagOperation and to make it look like a Scion attack,]] reinforcing Braddock's position and [[TakeOverTheWorld bringing him one step closer to his goal.]]]]
* UniversalDriversLicense: You can pilot almost every unit in the game. This includes ''morphing alien tanks''.
** Except the tugs, construction units, and artillery. Apparently, a floating tow truck baffles Lt. Cooke.
* [[spoiler: WasOnceAMan: The Scions. Later on, Yelena Shabayev and optionally, the player character. [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in that they have come to enjoy being what they are.]]
* WeaponisedLandmark: Kind of. An early cinematic sees the Voyager 2 probe picking up a threat in space. It retracts its antennas and transforms into missile-armed "battlemode".

----
''The various mods feature examples of:''
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: ''Forgotten Enemies'' has the ISDF (now the EDF) shift to gray and white for all units excluding air. The Hadeans use tan for all units as well. The Cerberi are interesting in that they use the Hadean tan to indicate that they're under the orders of the Crown but by themselves (Like on Miasma), they're a dark blackish grey.
* DeadManSwitch: [[spoiler: Braddock]] has one in ''Forgotten Enemies''. Three years after his death, a series of nukes are launched from a hidden base on Charon towards the new Core.
* DirtyCoward: Major Wyndt-Essex in ''Forgotten Enemies''. She sends Corber (the protagonist) to do all the dirty work. When the EDF comes under heavy attack, she flees in the Recycler to a teleporter, laying mines behind her so that ''nobody'' can follow.
* EnemyMine: The Hadean Crown Prince Thanatos in ''Forgotten Enemies'' allies with the EDF against the Imperial Hadeans once he discovers the [[spoiler: Cerberi]]
* EternalEngine: Planet Facility in ''Forgotten Enemies''. The atmosphere is a sickly green from poisonous gas, all the liquid on the planet is full of toxins, and almost the entire surface is covered in canals, factories, cranes, exhaust stacks, and storage silos. The ring that wraps around the planet is made of orbital factories and ships.
* EverythingIsTryingToKillYou: Planet Miasma in ''Forgotten Enemies''. Even the ''plants'' are trying to kill you.
* {{Expy}}: The Swarm in the ''Fleshstorm'' mod are basically the Tyranids from TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}, but bigger.
* HufflepuffHouse: Outside of background material, the Scions barely appear in ''Forgotten Enemies'' and ''Fleshstorm 1''
* JerkAss: Major Wyndt-Essex in ''Forgotten Enemies''.
* LargeHam: Most mods have Large Ham voice actors for their MissionControl and units. ''Fleshstorm 2'''s first two missions has a guy yelling at you in a fake Russian accent, and the Phaer Ran units are ''all'' Large Hams (''ANOTHER FALLS TO THE PHAER RAN!'')
* LethalLavaLand: Miasma in ''Forgotten Enemies''
* NintendoHard: The missions on Miasma in ''Forgotten Enemies'', and ''all'' of the ''Fleshstorm'' mods.
** In both of the Fleshstorm mods, the player spends most of the game fighting the Swarm, which are a biological race of PlanetLooters. Unlike every other race, Swarm vehicles do ''not'' drop scrap when destroyed, and Swarm units are exceptionally cheap to build, while also being fairly durable - leading to constant spam attacks in almost every mission. The Swarm doesn't even need to use scrap or biometal pools - they can build their own extractors anywhere on the map.
* NoCanonForTheWicked: All of the mods that continue the game's story go with the [[spoiler: Scion]] ending.
* PlanetLooters: The Swarm in the ''Fleshstorm'' mod.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: The EDF battalion you command in ''Forgotten Enemies''.
* WingMan: Lt. Shultz in ''Forgotten Enemies'' will sometimes go on missions with you to act as your wingman and help with enemies.