Video Game / Broken Helix
The name's Jake. Welcome to my world.
is a 1997 PlayStation
third person shooter game by Konami
's short-lived Chicago studio.
The year is 2026. Fitz, a renegade scientist, has taken over Area 51
and threatens to blow it up unless his demands, 2 million dollars, a private jet, and a televised interview are met.
The government responds by sending a U.S. marine
platoon to infiltrate the facility. Escorting them is another marine, demolitions expert Pvt. Jake Burton (the Player Character
, voiced by Bruce Campbell
), who is ordered by an unknown man via telephone to defuse the bombs located in the facility.
And the game begins from there.
The game's main claim to fame is that all of it happens in real time (something referred to as "4D" in promotional material); enemies and NPCs in the game world are always "active" and the clock for time-based events ticks down even when it's not obvious to the player.
This game provides examples of:
- Action Girl: There are female marines, all of which are expies of Vasquez.
- Airvent Passageway
- Aliens Are Bastards: Averted... but NOT in the first plot line.
- Anyone Can Die: And how!
- Apocalypse How: See Earth-Shattering Kaboom entry.
- Area 51: Well, duh.
- Armies Are Evil: The marines painfully play this trope straight.
- BFG: The female marines carry one.
- Bald of Evil: Jenkins.
- Beard of Evil: Tonka.
- Black Comedy: All of the game's one-liners. Some of the dialogue, too.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Black Dawn.
- Body Horror
- Bond One-Liner
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Burton at one point in the game.
"Oh c'mon, you call this a game design?!"
- Chekhov's Gun: At the start of the game, Burton has a photo of his father. Burton can only be granted access to Reese's lab if he shows him (Reese) the photo.
- The diamond given to you by one of the hybrids, which is later used to turn you into a hybrid.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Jenkins in the first and second plot lines. He's one of the scientists Burton sees after entering Level 8.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Fitz's scientists where green jackets, while neutral scientists wear white and Reese's scientists wear blue.
- Creepy Monotone: Black Dawn.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: Every single boss in this game.
- Deadpan Snarker: Tonka.
- "Die Hard" on an X: This game is Die Hard on Area 51.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: The sergeant.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Occurs if Reese dies and the queen is still alive, at least in the first plot line. The aliens escape from Earth and she (the queen) orders its destruction.
- Escort Mission: Present in all of the plot lines.
- Expy: The sergeant is clearly a Gunnery Sergeant Hartman-wannabe. The marines (except Burton, Black Dawn, and Jenkins) are spoofs/imitations of the colonial marines from Aliens.
- Friendly Fire Proof: Averted horribly.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies: The hybrids are essentially zombies. Except, they don't infect each other with a virus, and they can talk like a normal human, albeit with a distorted voice.
- Fiery Coverup: The marines' real mission.
- Fire-Breathing Weapon: The flamethrower Reese gives you to clear out the laboratory's vents. And it uses energy cells instead of gas canisters.
- Government Conspiracy: The government is covering up the existence of aliens at Area 51. Also, they're trying to make human-alien hybrids.
- Guns Akimbo: Black Dawn and Jenkins in the second plot line.
- Half-Human Hybrid
- He Knows Too Much: The reason why Burton gets hunted down by the marines (in the first three plots) and killed in the fourth ending.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: A marine lieutenant can be heard negotiating with Fitz at the beginning of the game, but he's never seen because he's outside the facility.
- Highly Visible Password: The password for the computer containing the Broken Helix files are not asterisked out. See also The Password Is Always Swordfish.
- Hive Caste System
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Played with. The government is more than willing to kill the aliens just for the sake of maintaining national security. Reese's scientists on the other hand attempts to protect the aliens to give them a new life and to develop a cure for the mutants. The government however, is right; if Burton fails to protect Reese (if he chooses to help him), the aliens will flee from Earth with their queen. Then she orders the nearby alien ships to destroy it.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: The hybrids, and Burton if he joins the aliens.
- Large Ham: Fitz and Burton. Even more so when they're angry. And obviously, the sergeant.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Averted; while killing an enemy with ANY weapon (and that includes stomping) will cause him/her/it to explode to pieces, they leave no blood pools.
- The Many Deaths of You
- Mêlée à Trois: The game features three-way fights between marines, renegade scientists (Fitz's or Reese's), and aliens. Burton can join either of them.
- The Mole: Jenkins, who is a marine double agent.
- More Dakka: Of the rapid-firing plasma variety.
- Multiple Endings:
- If Burton defuses the bombs, Black Dawn and his platoon will be given orders to eliminate him. From there, he can either:
- Plot Line 1: find the files for Project Broken Helix, give them to Fitz, and meet up with Reese. Then he must blow up the facility, kill both the marines and the alien queen, and finally evacuate the facility as the alien mothership departs. Burton and his wife retire to a tropical island while Reese disappeared, never to be seen again.
- Plot Line 2: help the aliens (becoming a hybrid in the process), rescue an alien warrior, and escape with them to their homeworld.
- Plot Line 3: escort a reporter to interview Fitz, then protect Fitz and evacuate the facility, only to be killed by a nearby fighter plane.
- Plot Line 4: However, if Burton chooses to lead the marines and NOT defuse the bombs, he and Tonka capture Fitz, meet Jenkins, and kill both Reese and the aliens. Burton ends up back-stabbed and blown up in a helicopter.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: See Everything's Deader with Zombies.
- No OSHA Compliance: Plenty of 'em.
- Non Standard Game Over
- The Password Is Always Swordfish: Played straight. The password for the Broken Helix file computer is "Contact". See also Highly Visible Password.
- Our Zombies Are Different: See Everything's Deader with Zombies.
- Plasma Cannon: All of the game's weapons, sans grenades, flamethrowers, and stun beams.
- Plot Armor: Averted, and somehow played straight with Black Dawn; the game justified/handwaved this when Burton is told that he (Black Dawn)'s wearing an experimental armor that protects him from all forms of attacks, except the alien weapon.
- Porn Stache: Fitz.
- Power Armor
- Save Token
- Schmuck Bait: Be careful using those two elevators that are wired with explosives. Fortunately, in the first three plot lines, Fitz disables the charges, allowing you to proceed further.
- Semper Fi: Subverted. The marines are the villains. Still, they're very powerful and hard to beat.
- Shout-Out: Has its own page.
- Sociopathic Soldier: Black Dawn and Tonka.
- Suicide Attack: Some of Fitz's scientists, accompanied by yelling and cussing.
"Oh, this is gonna get messy!"
- Timed Mission: Once the game starts, Burton has 20 minutes to find and defuse the bombs. Other instances include escaping the facility with Jenkins as it begins to self-destruct.
- Title Drop: The title refers to Project Broken Helix, a biological experiment to create alien/human hybrid Super Soldiers.
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: The game came out in 1997 and is set in 2026.
- Vasquez Always Dies: Can occur if one of the female marines were killed.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Attacking one of Fitz/Reese's scientists in their command centers will result with him and other scientists nearby retaliating. The same goes to the marines and the aliens.
- Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: Averted.
- Villain Protagonist: Burton, if he chooses to lead the marines.
- Voice with an Internet Connection
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Jenkins.
- Western Terrorists: Fitz and his scientists are more-or-less terrorists in all but name.
- Wire Dilemma: Averted; Burton is a demolitions expert.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The marine lieutenant mentioned in He Who Must Not Be Seen section above is never heard or mentioned again after Burton defuses the bombs.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Fitz.
- You All Look Familiar: Any unnamed/unimportant marine.
- Zombie Gait: Again, the hybrids.
There was a better way...