Characters / Bionic Commando

Nathan “Rad” Spencer

  • Artificial Arm
  • Badass Moustache: Grows a thick, American police chief-worthy manly moustache in Rearmed 2.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: In addition to his arm, Spencer has a number of secondary bionic improvements that, for example, provide armor, weaponize his adrenaline, allow him to jump superhuman heights and fall hundreds of feet without injury, and more. He looks mostly human, but he is far from it.
  • Majorly Awesome: In the 2009 game, according to the Intel.
  • One-Man Army: In the NES version, he's the sole representative of the "FF" Double Force, wielding a Bionic Arm as a unique grapple wire. Expanded storylines explain this as him being an experimental soldier supplied by the TASC bionics division.
    • Averted somewhat in Chain of Command and Rearmed 2; TASC has a period where their bionic technology is in great demand following the Imperial Incident, leading to Spencer training the next generation of bionic commandos as a Major.
  • Retractable Weapon: The wire part of his Bionic Arm.
  • The Right Hand of Doom: The Bionic Arm, though it originally looked rather ordinary and was covered by his clothing.
  • Role Called: While debatable in the arcade game, he is considered the "original" Bionic Commando in-universe.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": His name was initially translated as "Ladd Spencer" in the NES localization.
    • Officially, when Nathan Spencer originally lost his arm, he was the first person to be considered and tested on for bionic augmentation. He was therefore the most important part of the Research And Development department for bionics. When he went into the field, he was humorously given the codename Rad from all his time in the labs.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Spencer's bionic arm is extremely heavy, and almost completely shuts down when exposed to water. Spencer therefore cannot swim in water as his arm drags him down.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Went from a typical cocky action hero in Rearmed to a brooding, "I smoulder with generic rage" anti-hero in the 2009 game.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The original design, Rearmed, Chain of Command and Rearmed 2 all at least seem like different stages of the same character - his Game Boy and 2009 / Marvel vs. Capcom 3 appearances look entirely different without any explanation whatsoever.

Joseph “Super Joe” Gibson


  • Composite Character: The Rearmed version of this character combines the original role of the nameless helicopter pilot and a minor (but important) soldier (which the Game Boy version instead combines with Super Joe).
  • Gender Flip / Name Change: The NES character was a male soldier named Hal, which was changed to a female pilot named Haley in the Rearmed remake.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Or in this case, a bazooka, although we never actually see the character die in the NES version.

Gottfried Groeder

  • Big Bad: Subverted
  • Dragon Ascendant: Went from Generalissimo Kilt's The Dragon in Rearmed to the co-leader of BioReign in the 2009 game.
  • Evil Counterpart: Depicted as this in Rearmed, pitting an Imperial bionic against a FSA one.
  • Giant Mook: He originally appeared in the NES and Game Boy games as the "Giant Soldier" - as a possible reference to this, he grows a bit taller in size before battle in the 2009 sequel.

Emily Spencer

  • Dead All Along: Possibly as the process of creating the bionic arm has been never been explained so if she's truly dead isn't said.

Jayne Magdalene

  • Cutscene Boss: In the Gardens, Joe goes into a boss arena with her and it looks like she's going to be a boss fight, but then he takes her out with one punch in a cutscene.
  • Face–Heel Turn: A retroactive example; she's first seen as a BioReign terrorist in the 2009 game, then in the prequel Rearmed 2 we see her back in the day as a Lieutenant and ally of Spencer's.
  • Faux Action Girl
  • Moral Myopia: Considers civilians to be legitimate targets and their mass murder an act of "self-defense" because of the government's (admittedly pretty evil) treatment of Bionics in the Purge. She never reconsiders this, and only helps Spencer and turns against the BioReign leader Super Joe at the end because she felt he was just using her and the other Bionics as pawns.
  • Not So Different:
    Spencer: You're not a freedom fighter, you're just like me. A killer.