Real combat; plastic men.
A world exists that's quite different from our own. There, a battle rages out of control. A battle between good and evil...Green and Tan. Army Men
—Intro to Army Men: Sarge's Heroes
was a popular series of Video Games
by the now defunct software company 3DO
, about a war among several factions of plastic Army Men. The game was inspired by the developers' childhood memories of playing with miniature Army Men. The series lasted from 1998 to 2003, when 3DO went bankrupt. Many fans of the series laud the initial games' more "family oriented" take on the shooter genre. After Army Men: Air Attack, the brand started suffering from lower quality sequels and spinoffs (let's not talk about a certain game starring Sarge's girlfriend
). Since 3DO went under in 2003, various other companies have since tried to make games based on the Army Men brand.
This series has examples of:
- Big Bad: General Plastro for most of the series.
- Major Mylar for Army Men 2.
- Colonel Blintz in the RTS game.
- Lord Malice in Sarge's War.
- Big Good: Colonel Grimm.
- Black Best Friend: Riff, to Sarge.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Every faction across the series. The four most common are Green being good guys, Tan being evil, Gray being, well, gray (in some games they're allied with the Greens, in others they're against everyone), and Blue being spies, typically allied with the Tans.
- Crosshair Aware: Due to engine limitations in Sarge's Heroes multiplayer, every player can see everyone else's aiming reticule for mortars and grenades.
- Darker and Edgier: Sarge's War, to a large extent. Sometimes borders on parody of the gritty war hero type film.
- Death from Above: One of the power-ups invoked from time to time.
Sarge: This is Sarge, I need an air strike, over.
- Downer Ending: Army Men: Sarge's War was pretty much this for the whole series.
- Dumb Muscle: Thick.
- Follow the Leader: Portal Runner pretty much only exists because people still cared about Lara Croft way back when.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: A downplayed example when Sarge finds powerful weaponry and delivers an almost Evil Laugh and a remark anticipating wanton destruction.
- I Lied: Plastro, on occasion.
Plastro: Burn it all, starting with her blasted Blue homeland.
Vikki: Plastro! How could you?
Plastro: Well, somebody's not paying attention. I'm the bad guy!
- Kill 'em All: Sarge's War. Every major character in the series except for Sarge himself is dead by the end of the game. However, it is implied that Lord Malice either re-built the characters and had the clones waiting in life pods at the end, or actually kidnapped them before hand and replaced them with clones purely for Sarge's benefit to make him suffer, and had the actual characters themselves locked in stasis in the life pods.
- Kill It with Fire: Not surprisingly, the most damaging non-heavy weapon in every game is the flamethrower.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Sarge.
- Man on Fire: Each game allows you to melt your enemies with the flamethrower.
- Pyro Maniac: Scorch, from Sarge's Heroes. In his flavor text, it say he sleeps in a box of matches.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Bravo Company in Sarge's Heroes.
- The Red Stapler: This game is based on generic one-colored army men plastic toys.
- Rule of Funny: Hard to avoid when the whole game is about miniature toys trying to kill each other.
- Air Attack, for example, has a level where one of your bases is being torn apart... by ants. And to dispatch them, you have to drop cherry bombs on their anthills. And to unlock the final chopper, you need to gather its construction pieces, which come in plamo-like packaging.
- Sergeant Rock: Sarge, when he's not out there acting as a One-Man Army.
- Shout Out - Pretty much a staple of the series later in it's run, both in level names and even villains.
- It was doing it as far back as the second game, where one two part mission was just one big shout out to Apocalypse Now.
- Solar Powered Magnifying Glass: This appears as a super weapon in some games. Due to the fact that all units are either little plastic men or (rarely) bugs, it works fairly well.
- Spinoff: See Portal Runner.
- Those Wacky Nazis: The Tan Nation is often portrayed as a heavily Flanderized version of Nazi Germany.
- Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: Completely averted. What do you think happens to little plastic army men who're exposed to flame? The answer: awesome happens.
- Why Am I Ticking?: The M-60 firecrackers in Army Men II.