[[caption-width-right:350: ''Operation: Mindcrime'']]

[[caption-width-right:350: ''Operation: Mindcrime II'']]

->''"I remember now. I remember how it started. I can't remember yesterday. I just remember doing what they told me..."''
-->--'''I Remember Now'''

A RockOpera by {{progressive metal}} band Music/{{Queensryche}}, released in 1988, focusing on a drug-addicted street kid who, brainwashed by a charismatic demagogue, becomes the assassin for an underground revolutionary movement. The sequel, released in 2006, continues to follow him as he attempts to deal with the demons that have been haunting him.

The story explores such topics as governmental and religious hypocrisy, love and sex (and the differences between them), and personal responsibility for one's own actions and one's lot in life. All of this is placed in a believable, NextSundayAD-esque world which is very overtly modeled on the sociopolitical climate of each album's time.

!!'''Operation: Mindcrime'''

!![[IncrediblyLamePun Warning]]! Spoilers ahead!

Nikki, [[Music/GunsNRoses just an urchin living under the streets]], is fed up with what he sees as corruption and hypocrisy in every level of society. Fortunately for him (or so it seems), he comes across [[MagnificentBastard charismatic revolutionary leader]] Doctor X, who recruits Nikki to his cause. Nikki becomes a political assassin, murdering anyone who stands in Dr. X's way; but soon his conscience begins to torture him and he starts to doubt the cause he's fighting for. Then things get complicated.

Nikki is in love with Sister Mary, a [[HookerWithAHeartOfGold prostitute-turned-nun]], and decides to leave the revolution and clean up his life. But then it gets worse: Dr. X, for reasons all his own, orders Nikki to kill Mary. Nikki tries to comply, but his love for Mary prevails and he decides instead to confront Dr. X. However, Dr. X holds Nikki's heroin addiction over his head; Nikki is trapped.

And then it gets worse ''again'': Nikki finds Mary dead. Police on the scene quickly arrest Nikki for the murder, but he insists he didn't do the deed... but if not, then who did?

The loss of Mary sends Nikki into a catatonic state, and he is committed to a mental institution.

A detailed synopsis and song-by-song analysis can be found [[http://www.apollowebworks.com/russell/mindcrime.html here]].

'''Note:''' ''Operation: Mindcrime'' is deliberately sparse on details of Mary's death, especially pertaining to the identity of her killer. The video compilation ''Video: Mindcrime'' included several possible interpretations; and a Queensrÿche concert show from the late 90s provided further extrapolation, while a 2004 concert show [[http://www.apollowebworks.com/russell/mindcrimefaq.html#whokilled explained it outright]]; however, for purposes of this page, only the original album is being considered canon.

!!'''Operation: Mindcrime II'''

(Again, although efforts have been made to keep this summary spoiler-free, some factoids will inevitably slip through, so tread carefully.)

Nearly twenty years after being incarcerated at the end of [=OM1=], Nikki is summarily released, with little or no attempt to help him integrate into civilian life. Naturally he finds himself on the wrong side of the law again, which only serves to fuel his still-extant hatred for the governmental authorities.

Ultimately, Nikki decides to confront and kill Dr. X, whom he continues to blame for all the problems that have plagued him his entire life. But will killing his nemesis really solve his problems, or bring Nikki any comfort over the loss of Mary?

!! Tracklist:
# "I Remember Now" (1:17)
# "Anarchy-X" (1:27)
# "Revolution Calling" (4:42)
# "Operation: Mindcrime" (4:43)
# "Speak" (3:42)
# "Spreading the Disease" (4:07)
# "The Mission" (5:45)
# "Suite Sister Mary" (10:41)
# "The Needle Lies" (3:08)
# "Electric Requiem" (1:22)
# "Breaking the Silence" (4:34)
# "I Don't Believe in Love" (4:23)
# "Waiting for 22" (1:05)
# "My Empty Room" (1:25)
# "Eyes of a Stranger" (6:39)

!'''''Tropes of a Stranger''''':
* AntiHero[=/=]AntiVillain: Nikki overall presumably qualifies as one or the other; he may have been an assassin, but he was motivated by a desire to cleanse a corrupt system and, to be fair, he was brainwashed into carrying out the assassinations.
* AuthorTract: The lyrics are pretty explicit about identifying what the band sees as political problems (particularly income inequality, religious hypocrisy, and political corruption), but this will fall into SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped for listeners who are inclined to agree.
* BigBad: Dr. X.
* BigNo: Used at the end of "Breaking the Silence" in [=OM1=]. Nikki is accused of her death by the voices in his head, causing him to scream this.
* BookEnds: "I Remember Now" and "Eyes of a Stranger" both end with the phrase "I remember now".
* CallBack: The precursor of [=OM1=], ''Rage for Order'' ended with the song "I Will Remember". [=OM1=] begins with "I Remember Now".
* DarkMessiah: Nikki recognizes himself as this in ''Speak''
* DeathBySex: Shortly after consummating with Nikki (in [=OM1=]), Sister Mary dies.
* DidTheyOrDidntThey: There are differing opinions on whether Nikki and Sister Mary had sex regularly or only once, both sides holding up equally well under scrutiny.
* DownerEnding: At the end of [=OM1=], Nikki pretty much loses his mind and has to live in the horrible memories of his past day after day. The end of [=OM2=] ''could'' be considered {{bittersweet|ending}} since [[spoiler: Nikki and Mary meet in the afterlife]].
* DressRehearsalVideo: "Breaking the Silence".
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Nikki]] in [=OM2=].
* DrugsAreBad: It's pretty unlikely anyone who listens to the album's lyrics will have any desire to try heroin after that, to put it mildly.
* TheEighties provided the necessary socio-political backdrop for [=OM1=].
** And the [=2000s=] provide an appropriate setting for [=OM2=].
* ExpandedUniverse: Many of the live performance of the albums use videos to expand upon the story.
* FromBadToWorse: Basically the whole story.
* GenderBlenderName: Nikki.
* GovernmentConspiracy: Nikki blames this for society's woes, also roping in [[NewMediaAreEvil the media]], [[CorruptChurch religion]] and [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney the upper class]] while he's at it.
* GriefSong: "I Don't Believe in Love". See HeroicBSOD right below.
* HeroicBSOD: Mary's death causes Nikki to almost completely shut down, as it would be later detailed in "I Don't Believe in Love".
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Mary was a prostitute before she became a nun.
* HowWeGotHere: [=OM1=] is told in flashback form; we first meet Nikki in hospital as a [[CoincidentalBroadcast background news broadcast]] fills us in on backstory; then, after Nikki's little monologue ("I remember now... I remember how it started..."), the instrumental "Anarchy-X" marks the transition into the flashback proper. (Similarly, the later instrumental "Waiting for 22" marks the transition ''out'' of the flashback.)
* KarmaHoudini: Dr. X ([[spoiler:until "The Chase" in [=OM2=]]]).
* KillEmAll: Regarding all the named cast. In [=OM1=], [[spoiler:Sister Mary is murdered]] ("Suite Sister Mary") In [=OM2=], [[spoiler:Dr. X is killed by Nikki]], ("The Chase") and [[spoiler:Nikki commits suicide]] ("Fear City Slide").
* LastNoteNightmare: "Eyes of a Stranger" on [=OM1=] ends with a one-two punch: a heavily distorted, demonic voice screaming '''''REVOLUTION!''''' and a reprise of "I Remember Now".
* MadnessMontage: the coda to "Eyes of a Stranger".
* ManipulativeBastard: Dr. X.
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate: Dr. X.
* MoreThanMindControl: Dr. X uses a combination of heroin and hypnosis to control Nikki.
* OminousLatinChanting: Used in [=OM1=] in "Suite Sister Mary". It also includes some BilingualBonus. [[spoiler: Voiceless Latin chanting is also used when Nikki begins to break down in [=OM2=].]]
* OneWordTitle: "Speak".
* ProtestSong: "Revolution Calling", "Speak", and "Spreading the Disease".
* RebelliousSpirit: Nikki.
* ReligionRantSong: Type 3, as the album attacks the corruption of religious officials in several places.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: A street beggar living in a CrapsackWorld, wrongly accused of the murder of his girlfriend, and then wanting to confront the evil goverment head-on? Yeah, this is a ''very'' cynical work.
* SinisterMinister: Some of the songs mention a corrupt televangelist who sleeps with nuns.
* SomethingBlues: "A Junkie's Blues" on [=OM2=].
* StockSoundEffects: The "Dr. Blair, Dr. Blair, Dr. J. Hamilton, Dr. J. Hamilton" sample that appears in the album's intro and towards the end of the album can be heard ''all over the place'' in television shows. If there's a hospital scene, expect to hear it.
* SwordOverHead: In [=OM2=], Nikki holds Dr. X at gunpoint.
* TogetherInDeath: [[spoiler: The end of [=OM2=] had Nikki's and Mary's spirits meeting up.]]
* TriggerPhrase: "Mindcrime..."
* VillainProtagonist: Nikki, at first.
* VillainSong: "Operation: Mindcrime" on [=OM1=] is sung completely from Dr. X's perspective.
* TheVillainSucksSong: "The Needle Lies" on [=OM1=]. Refers both to Dr. X and to Nikki's drug addiction.
-> ''[[BookEnds I remember now...]]''