Video Game / Blast Corps

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blast-corps.jpg
Get used to seeing that vehicle marked "Backlash" on the bottom-left.

"Time to get movin'!"

A big truck is hauling two defective nuclear warheads to a safe location. They started to leak, however, so they had to set it on an automated course. The Blast Corps has been called in to clear the way for it, because if this truck hits anything, the warheads will go off and start a nuclear winter.

So you, a pilot of the Blast Corps, have to do the destroying. You have various vehicles at your disposal to get the job done. So, get started before that truck destroys everything!

Blast Corps (BlastDozer in Japan) was released for the Nintendo 64 by Rare in 1997. It was later included as one of the 30 featured games of Rare Replay for Xbox One.


This game provides examples of:

  • 100% Completion: Completion is measured in points earned with medals. Bonus levels have one medal while main levels have three; one for completing the level, one for clearing buildings and collecting RDUs, and one for a time trial unlocked late in the post-end game. Bronze medals are worth 1, silver 2, gold 3, and platinum 4. Every twelve points, you get a new rank. The final rank you can earn, signifying 100% completion, is "You Can Stop Now."
    • Word of God says that the game is supposed to be impossible for one person to get ALL of the Platinum Medals, although determined players have completed the entire game.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The moon base created after "decades of moon landings" and cool vehicles like the J-Bomb suggest the game takes place in the future, while the world has a 1997 present-day feel otherwise.
  • Achievement Mockery: The highest rank can only be achieved by getting a platinum medal on every stage in the game. Said rank is called "You can stop now".
  • All There in the Manual: If you sit at the title screen without starting the game, you'll get background information on the Blast Corps team members and the nuclear warheads, but it takes nearly 10 minutes to see everything. If your game didn't come with an instruction manual and you blazed through the title screen, you'd probably don't know what's going on other than the threat of a nuclear explosion.
  • Artistic License Engineering: For starters, the obstacles you collide into always strangely explode, then leave nothing behind. Buildings that are destroyed in real-life always leave an awful mess of rumble and debris behind, thus the carrier still doesn't have a clear path. In real-life, basic physics will not permit you to demolish buildings and clear the site, quickly. It takes weeks, even months, to do. The structures we build are largely steel and concrete reinforced constructs - you can't just plough an excavator in there, and hope for the best.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The American Dream, Muscle Car, and Police Car for the most part can't tear down any of the buildings, but only get you to a location faster. They are the most useful choices in the bonus racing levels, though.
  • Bonus Level: The Moon, Mercury. Venus, Mars, and Neptune are extra levels that has varying levels of gravity that affect your performance. The Moon can be played after you cleared the shuttle level, but the rest can only be unlocked once you gotten gold medals and all the communications satellites back on Earth.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Ramdozer for the most part; although not as good as the mechas, it can still clear through most buildings without a problem by simply driving normally through them. Also, bonus points for not being the Backlash.
    • The A-Team Van, because while all vehicles do damage it seems to be on par with the Skyfall.
  • Collection Sidequest: RDUs, satellite beacons, survivors and scientists.
  • Cool Car: Any of them. Ballista and Skyfall take the cake though. But never the Backlash.
  • Damage-Proof Vehicle: No matter how much destruction they cause, the vehicles you control never even slow down. They can only be destroyed in two ways (which in turn ends the level for you); one is to fall into a hazard such as lava, the other is to run into a roving enemy truck, and each of the hazards only show up in a small handful of bonus levels.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: One level has a donut shop with a cop car placed in front of it.
  • Escort Mission: Every mission involving the nuclear truck, obviously.
  • Everything-Is-Smashable Area :...Uh, pretty much the entire main game.
  • Excuse Plot: If the truck hits anything, the warheads will go off, so it's been set to go to its destination straight through anything in its path. What? All right, so maybe the missiles are going to blow and don't have time to move around buildings. Except the warheads tour all over the world looking for their safe zone.
  • Fake Difficulty: The game will not let you use the best tools for the job. Instead of powerful mechas that can easily remove obstacles in the carrier's way, on missions you'll be randomly stuck with the most ill-suited machinery imaginable. Worse of all, there's no reason provided why you can't opt for a different more suitable machine at their disposal. Get used to seeing and driving Backlash... a lot.
  • Fake Longevity: When you first play the game, the story missions only end when the truck reaches the endpoint or you enter the Blast Corps semi, regardless of how efficiently you've taken out the obstacles in its path. This has the effect of forcing you to redo them all for gold medals once that option is available, since it's impossible to get a lower time than what the truck normally takes.
  • Featureless Protagonist: While the four founding members of the Blast Corps have names, faces, voice clips, and very short bios, the playable character, the driver, is only visible when running between vehicles in extremely low detail, and only heard saying "d'oh!" in a low-pitched voice when unable to exit a vehicle.
  • Field Promotion: Successfully completing levels lets you go up in "rank", but its completely arbitrary to the game-play and story. With made-up titles like "Decorated Damager", "Gifted Ruiner" or "Master Despoiler" you feel like its doing you a disservice.
  • Forced Tutorial: You need to play through the tutorial levels for Backlash, Sideswipe, J-Bomb, Thunderfist, and Skyfall in order to progress through the game. Fortunately, the tutorials themselves are easily skippable scrolling text played before the actual levels.
  • Goomba Stomp: Most vehicles, even the "bonus" cars that are not really designed to destroy buildings, will gain significant destructive power if they are in the air. Even the infamous Backlash can plow straight through buildings without having to spin if it is able to get a little hang time. This is Skyfall's entire gimmick, as aside from the Nitro Boost it has to help propel itself into the air, it otherwise doesn't carry much more power than the aforementioned bonus cars when it's on the ground.
  • Ground Pound: The J-Bomb's primary method of taking out tougher structures when simply landing on them won't destroy them quickly.
  • Humongous Mecha: The J-Bomb, in which you fly up and stomp on the obstacles to get rid of them.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: Let the truck hit something and you get to witness two nice big explosions. To make things worse, the game will show a replay of your previous run from the view of the carrier, including the explosion.
  • It's Up to You: Not only are you the only driver for all of the wildly different demolition vehicles, but no one else can even guide rail-driven trains and boats to provide platforms for the missiles to drive over. Granted, no one really wants to hang out by those missiles, even if they do threaten nuclear winter anyway. Even after clearing the path for the missiles, you're the only one capable of revisiting old areas to round up six scientists so they can set up a controlled explosion.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The post-game storyline stops taking itself seriously after the shuttle rescue.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: One J-Bomb side mission features a few small volcanoes. Another one features a large volcano that the entirety of the stage takes place in. Just be careful not to touch the lava walls or floor, or else "MISSION FAILED!"
  • Law of 100: Each main level has 100 little RDUs to activate, counting towards 100% completion of the level rather than extra lives.
  • Made of Explodium: Your task is greatly facilitated by the fact that buildings can explode due to things as small as you getting out of the car, due to a glitch in the original version of the game.
  • Made of Iron: Your unnamed driver character. He can stand next to a skyscraper-demolishing block of TNT as it explodes with no visible effect.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter:
    • The Backlash is probably the most unusual of the bunch; instead of ramming into or dive-bombing buildings like with most of the other vehicles, with this one you need to hit buildings with the back of the vehicle while drifting through a turn; the faster, the better (unless there's a rock nearby; if the Backlash is off the ground, it can do a great deal of head-on damage). Since this is easier said than done and it appears in many levels, the Backlash has a reputation among fans of the game.
    • The Ballista and the Sideswipe are the only vehicles that collect items to launch attacks to destroy buildings. The Ballista is a motorcycle that launches missiles, while the Sideswipe extends rams out of its sides.
  • Musical Nod: The music for the Jade Plateau / Skerries levels is a remix of the boss battle theme from Donkey Kong Land.
  • Nintendo Hard: Especially levels that force you to use the... say it with us now... Backlash, though nearly everything gets this way once it's time to collect platinum medals.
  • Nitro Express: Though this one has a bit bigger boom than usual.
  • Not Completely Useless: The Backlash is notorious among fans for being extremely difficult to control and the method it uses to destroy buildings (ramming into them backwards or sideways) being very unintuitive. If the stage allows the player a choice of vehicle to start with, you can bet that no one will ever pick the Backlash. When it comes to the Moon mission, the Backlash really shines; with the low gravity, you can catch a lot of air off bumps and ramps to crash into buildings. With the low friction on the surface, you can slide the Backlash with greater ease than you could on Earth.
  • Not Drawn to Scale: It is possible that the levels are modeled smaller than the models of the car type vehicles, which makes them look large in comparison.
  • The Not-Love Interest: A cringe-worthy example. One of your "helpers" via video link, always says "you're just trying to impress [her]", you know, instead of saving the world from disaster. It falls completely flat, because her character and the male protagonist you control aren't just underdeveloped in Blast Corps - they're not-existent. Its downright silly because the player doesn't even know who this broad is! Or why they're even flirting with them!
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The nuclear truck itself. Even the slightest jolt will cause the missiles to explode.
  • One-Man Army: YOU, the player are, unfortunately. It says Blast Corps in the name, but you are the only one doing anything to avert a nuclear crisis. Your comrades won't get off their backsides to pilot any of the other available machinery, but are however quick to scold you when you can't man the fort alone.
  • Palette Swap: The Moon, Mars, and Mercury all use the same image on the map in different colors. Ditto for Venus and Neptune.
  • Post-End Game Content: After the credits roll, one last main level appears in which a large city needs to be leveled to clear the path for a space shuttle's emergency landing. Then a bonus level on the moon is unlocked. After clearing that, you're encouraged to unlock all the bonus levels and collect all the gold medals. Doing this unlocks four more bonus levels around the solar system, and getting gold medals on those unlocks time trials for the main levels, allowing a third medal to be collected in each. Finally, getting gold on all the time trials reveals platinum medal targets for every bonus level and time trial.
  • Racing Ghost: These show up in the straight racing levels, to make it easier for you to top your previous time.
  • Recurring Location: Several of the main levels lend themselves to the bonus levels.
  • Recycled In Space: Literally, and in the same game as well!
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Part of the requirement for getting the second gold medal on any regular stage is destroying all the buildings within a stage. Wheeeee, demolishing whole cities for no justifiable reason! This reaches its peak in Ebony Coast, which has a secret island with three Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moai worth $9999999 (in the NA version) that you need to destroy for that gold medal.
  • Rule of Fun: Don't worry about the survivors that need to flee, or the fact that everyone is freaking out about the truck rolling through town, just clear a path!
  • Scoring Points: A counter at the top-right corner of the screen keeps track of how much monetary damage you've caused so far. This doesn't directly affect your progress or rank.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: The celestial bodies of our solar system in the level select menu? Even though it takes some liberties with physical appearance and makeup, their orbits are... surprisingly accurate.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: Each song that plays in the main levels has a second version that plays whenever the missiles are coming close to a structure. If the missiles are dangerously close to hitting something, warning blares will sound off as well.
  • Start My Own: The manual and opening text explain that the Blast Corps is made of ex-employees of a military organization by the name of Rafters. They walked out after Wesley (one of the members) was left disabled by an accident and treated poorly by Rafters afterwards. Rafters is also responsible for the defective nuclear warheads that the game's plot centers around.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Pretty much the whole point.
  • Take Your Time: Practice your skills, take part in races, and play each group of the main levels in any order you want; the missiles will always be a few seconds away from planetary annihilation by the time you arrive on the scene.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Leaking nuclear warheads are threatening everything in a several mile radius and it will bring nuclear winter should the slightest jolt to the truck occur, which will cause the missiles to explode. The Blast Corps team can do nothing but clear a path until they can gather some scientists to come up with a plan to detonate the missiles safely.
  • Title Theme Drop: The music from the title screen plays during Glory Crossing, which is one of the last seven missions of the main storyline.
  • Timed Mission: The entire premise of the game. You only have a limited amount of time to clear buildings and structures before the truck carrying the nuclear warheads crashes into something and causes the missiles to explode. The damaged shuttle also falls into this trope since you have a limited amount of time to clear out the entire map before it lands.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You don't have to destroy every single building and structure in the entire game, but if you want to fully complete the game, you gotta wreck everything!
  • Video Game Objectives: Upon starting a new file, the game lays it out for you:
    MISSION 1: Clear path for carrier on each main level.
    MISSION 2: Activate all RDUs and destroy all buildings to earn second gold.
    MISSION 3: After completing main levels, find all 6 scientists to ensure a controlled detonation.
    MISSION 4: Achieve gold on all levels to commence Time Attack.
  • Video Game Physics: The bad variety when it comes to carrying objects with the Ramdozer. In real-life its straightforward to scoop up objects in an excavator's bucket. You can't do that in Blast Corps. Your excavator glides about, pushing ticking TNT crates that in turn, have a mind of their own and through no fault of your own, slide right out of your bucket when you're trying to use them. Additionally, Oyster Harbor has an area with square-shaped and diamond-shaped blocks that need to be used to fill respectively-shaped gaps. You may note that squares and diamonds are in fact the same shape, but the blocks won't rotate to allow one to fill in for the other.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Rafters disappears from the story after the opening explanation described in Start My Own.
  • You Break It, You Profit: Strangely enough, in a game full of destruction with money values assigned to everything, there's only one of these levels: Salvage Wharf.

"You're just trying to impress me."
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