"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 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 the earlier games. It is a hybrid vehicle combat, FPS, and RTS. The Space Race was a lie. After a meteor shower hits the Arctic circle in 1952, American and Soviet scientists simultaneously discover an amazing new metallic compound capable of being molded into 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 Cold War. The US forms the National Space Defense Force. The Soviet Union in turn forms the Cosmo Colonist Army. Both nations sneak their armies into space under the guise of the "Space Race".Thus begins a new, hidden chapter of the Cold War, the one too brutal to televise. The player's character, American tank pilot and battlefield commander 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 Team Evolve, dubbed The Red Odyssey. It takes place largely on Ganymede and is contemporaneous with the events on the other Galilean moons of the original game. The NSDF's Black Dogs, a Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits 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.An N64 port also exists: Battlezone: Rise of the Black Dogs, 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. It added a third campaign staring the Black Dogs squadron. They use modified American equipment, and the bomber pilot is a hippy.A sequel, BattleZone II: Combat Commander was developed by Pandemic Studios and set in the late 1990s of this alternate history followed later. It was less well-received for abandoning the highly original Cold War 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, 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 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:The Swarm, and the Phaer Ran.The mods, all the patches, maps, and so on, are available on Battlezone1 and 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 dreadful AI, and improved the game's rendering engine.Battlezone provides examples of:
Ancient Astronauts: The alien ships and structures are all named after Greek gods, and it is outright stated that the race which created them, the Cthonians, visited and did experiments on the Greeks in the ancient world.
And I Must Scream: Arguably, 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 blind rage and destruction. They also may be a rather twisted example of The Undead.
Artificial Stupidity: 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.
Attack Its Weak Point: 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.
Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: The NSDF and CCA destroy the Furies, but at the cost of the technology they fought the war over. The Cthonians, meanwhile, sacrificed their entire species to destroy them.
Captain's Log: Each mission starts off with a spoken journal recording by Grizzly One, detailing his thoughts and feelings about being in a Cold Wargone hot.
Character Customization: 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.
Cold War: Gone hot in secret, with the United States' NSDF versus the Soviet Union's CCA.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: 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.
Cosmetically Different Sides: NSDF and CCA units are roughly equivalent to each other. NSDF units on the whole are faster, CCA ones better armored.
Covers Always Lie: 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.
Death from Above: 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 Day Wrecker bomb, which you can order it to catapult to a location of your choosing, as with any Power-Up.
Difficulty Spike: After the Furies are introduced, losing your tank changes from a minor inconvenience into a death sentence.
Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Happens in the Back Story to Icarus, the Cthonian homeworld, which once occupied an orbit between Mars and Jupiter. Occurs again at the end of the game on Achilles, a moon of Uranus that curiously resembled Earth, in a tragic case of History Repeats.
Elite Mooks: 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 the Furies.
Enemy Mine: 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.
Family-Unfriendly Death / Cruel and Unusual Death: Completing the Europa missions for the NSDF shows a screen of a bloating 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.
First-Person Shooter: Your perspective in-game, whether operating a tank or on-foot with a rifle and sniper scope.
Fluffy the Terrible: Fury ships carry the "Bolt Buddy", a rapid-fire lightning cannon which is one of the most terrifyingly powerful weapons in the game.
The Greatest Story Never Told: 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.
Hand Wave: 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 hover is never even handwaved.
Hey, It's That Voice!: Steve Blum as the excitable Corporal Buzz, as well as the pilots of NSDF "Bobcat" Light Tanks, and General Romeski, your commanding officer in the Soviet campaign.
Historical In-Joke: 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.
History Repeats: A particularly poignant case. Grizzly One, 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.
Hover Tank: All of the in-game vehicles save the mechs, one of the more obvious benefits of Cthnonian technology.
Homing Projectile: 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 the Furies, which cannot be fooled but can be destroyed in-flight as they hover off the ground. Sound familiar?
Humongous Mecha: The NSDF "Sasquatch" and CCA "Golem" walker units, courtesy of Cthonian war tech.
In Name Only: 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.
It Can Think: It's never made clear of the Furies have any semblance of free thought. If they do, it makes their unflinching sadism that much more unsettling.
Land Mine Goes Click: 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.
Lightning Gun: Fury saucers and tanks are armed with these. Their mines also function as such, zapping nearby enemies as opposed to detonating.
Lethal Joke Weapon: 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.
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 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 Lightning Gun.
Lost Technology: The whole reason the Americans and Soviets are fighting it out on other planets in the first place.
Macross Missile Massacre: The TAG (Automated Targeting Gun) Cannon, standard on the CCA "Stoli" Light Tank (which occasionally makes them Demonic Spiders). It first tires a harmless "Tag" projectile. If this makes contact with a valid target, the weapon then fires a storm of seeking missiles.
Magnetic Weapons: The "MAG Cannon", or Magnetic Acceleration Gun. It fires a 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's also defensively-oriented Magnetic Weapons in the M-Curtain and MITS mines. 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.
Neglectful Precursors: The Chthonians, though considering what happened to them, it probably could not be helped.
Nintendo Hard: The Red Odyssey expansion pack, especially the Chinese campaign.
No Canon for the Wicked: Notably, averted. The CCA campaign is contemporaneous with the events of the NSDF one, taking place between the Soviets escaping Mars to Venus with the Cthonian Flight Log Database and 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 Dog's campaign.
Shown Their Work: 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.
Standard Status Effects: The "Sandbag" non-locking missile inflicts "Slow" on targets by way of sticking any target hit with a magnetic anchoring device.
Stuff Blowing Up: 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 Rocket Bomb: A Hornet heat-seeking missile with the "heat-seeking" part taken out and 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 Cthnonian-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 Mineral MacGuffin - they don't refer to the events of this game as "The Bio-Metal Wars" in the sequel for nothing. Serves as a Plot Coupon in some missions.
Take Your Time: No matter how urgent the mission briefing sounds, there are only two timed missions.
Timed Mission: 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. 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.
Unstoppable Rage: 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.
Unusable Enemy Equipment: Completely averted. Any enemy vehicle can be hijacked. The Furies play this straight... except in the last mission of the Soviet campaign, where the basic saucer Fury is not only buildable, but pilotable.
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.
Weak Turret Gun: 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...
X-Ray Vision: 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".
Artistic License - Physics: The mobile structures have to be set up on steam geysers for power. The Moon is geologically dead and has no (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). Somehow relatively small solar panels are a viable source of electricity around Saturn, where the Sun's brightness is only about 1/100th of that on Earth.
Battlezone II features:Note that a number of the tropes from the first game also apply here.
Abnormal Ammo: ISDF ammuntion is mostly bullets, cannon shells and missiles with the occasional Energy Weapon, 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.
All There in the Manual: The manual for this game uses a similar Framing Device 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 a battle on Titan against the Furies, which would seem to indicate he (and possibly others) survived the Bio-Metal Wars.
Alternate History: Set several decades after the Bio-Metal Wars depicted in the first game, it's now The Nineties. Biometal is public knowledge, and the ISDF (the merged CCA and NSDF forces from the first game) is a known, public military force.
Artificial Stupidity: 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.
Awesome but Impractical: 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.
Base on Wheels: The ISDF Recycler and Scion Matriarch roll to their deployment site and unfold into a giant factory.
Big Bad: Scion Padishah Frank Burns. Or so your character is made to think. Braddock is the real monster.
Blind Jump: When a wormhole opens up on the Dark Planet, General Braddock orders his carrier (and by extension, you) to follow the Scion dropship through the portal, without having any idea where it leads.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: 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.
Convection Schmonvection: 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.
Cutscene Power to the Max: 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.
The Engineer: 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.
Escort Mission: At one point on Bane you must guide a damaged 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 pathfinding any better though. Hilarity Ensues as you sit watching him bumble around.
You can just shoot the ice along the path, then it'll find it's way to the Geyser on it's own...
The Fleshstorm 2 mod has two escort missions in a row. In one, you have to escort 3 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.
Eternal Engine: 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.
Everybody's Dead, Dave: The bad ending, where you side with Braddock. Every other named character is dead, and you return to earth a "hero". But was it worth it? In this ending, humanity never gets to know what the Scions were really trying to accomplish.
Laser Sight: 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 - enemies cannot see the laser sights.
Latex Space Suit: ISDF troops have form-fitting space suits, with a built-in armored chest-piece.
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 Wiki Leaks-style guerrilla journalism. 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 intro brilliantly lampshades this: the Voyager 2 approaches the Dark Planet, starts to scan the surface and finds Braddock's 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...
Multiple Endings: Two, depending on whether you transport the wounded Scion leader to Braddock, or return him to the Scions and join their cause.
The Mole: In the Back Story. Shabayev was an FSB (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 is far crueler then he could have ever imagined.
Not Playing Fair With Resources: 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 themselves a scrap cheat.
New Era Speech: Padishah Frank Burns. subverted, as Burns is no longer considered a villain at this point, he delivers this speech in the good ending.
Oh Crap: At one point in some Cthonian ruins on Bane, you discover a small transmission unit. Almost immediately, Braddock orders the area bombed back to the Stone Age, giving you scant minutes to evacuate the area. You later find out why: the transmitter in question bore the insignia of the Black Dog squadron.
Pluto Is Expendable: Averted. Pluto is the first planet that appears in the game and was the site of the ISDF's Cerberus base, ostensibly intended to keep watch for any alien incursions into the Solar System.
Prop Recycling: The second mission of Forgotten Enemies has you scanning power sources but they're just resized versions of the volcano factory found on Mars from the first game. Fridge Brilliance comes into play as the Hadeans might might have recycled the Olympian building design as a power plant rather than a bio-metal factory.
Power Crystal: Three, which act as power sources for the Scions' "Alchemator" devices.
Retcon: If the "ISDF: A Secret History" letter in the manual is to be believed, this game performed a rather major retcon on the events of the first game. Unreliable Narrator may be at work here, as the only guy who knows for sure is Braddock. Instead of the Soviets recreating a Cthonian superweapon in the Furies, they were instead 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.
Sequel Difficulty Drop: 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 less likely to run you over than they were in the first game.
Space Is Noisy: Comes into play on planets with little or no known atmosphere in Battlezone.
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.
Stock Scream: A few Scion units reuse voice clips from the first game, albeit with the Scions' Voice of the Legion-ish filter. This may actually be justified, considering the Scions were once the NSDF's Black Dog squadron.
Oddly enough, most of the Scion voices are the CCA/Russians voices from Battlezone with the filter added, and the radio static removed.
Timed Mission: The escape from Core after you have destroyed its main reactor, the final mission of the "bad" path.
Super Drowning Skills: 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.
The Faceless: Despite the large amount of character interaction this game has, especially when compared to the first game, you only see one character's face. On the mission where you need to retrieve Padasha Burns from the crashed carrier, you can hop out of your tank and look at his chariot thing, with Burns sitting in it.
The Federation: The AAN, an UN-ish organization intended to help fairly distribute bio-metal amongst developing nations.
The Reveal: Many, mostly concerning the Scions, Braddock's dark past and everything that happened as a result. Near the end of the game, either Braddock or Burns will tell you everything you didn't already know or figure out.
Except the tugs, construction units, and artillery. Apparently, a floating tow truck baffles Lt. Cooke.
Was Once a Man: The Scions. Later on, Yelena Shabayev and optionally, the player character. Subverted in that they have come to enjoy being what they are.
Weaponised Landmark: 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:
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: 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.
Dead Man Switch: 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.
Dirty Coward: 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 follower her.
Enemy Mine: The Hadean Crown Prince Thanatos in Forgotten Enemies allies with the EDF against the Imperial Hadeans once he discovers the Cerberi
Large Ham: Most mods have Large Ham voice actors for their Mission Control 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!)
Nintendo Hard: 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 Planet Looters. 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.