Billy Candle has had a crappy life: his dad is gone, his mom married a guy who beat him up regularly, he was mistreated by other kids for being a Mexican; when he ran away from home to find lost treasures, he didn't make it far; a girl he loved had an Overprotective Dad and he lost both the girl and his job. He returns to his hometown of Hope, "the most hopeless place on Earth", because he has nowhere left to go... and finds his mother and stepfather shot dead in their home, "Call of Juarez" written in blood above their bodies. Worse even, he is seen by his step-uncle Reverend Ray who assumes he is the murderer and gives chase to him...Call of Juarez is a fast-paced, adrenaline-driven WesternFirst-Person Shooter, where the player alternatingly assumes the roles of Billy and Reverend Ray, who is after his head. Billy is more of a Fragile Speedster with heavy emphasis on stealth, whereas Ray is a Mighty GlacierandThe Gunslinger, which allows for an interesting twist: revisiting the same level (Ray is chasing after Billy, after all) never grows boring, thanks to the vastly different gameplay styles of the two.The original game (2006) started the eponymous series, currently consisting of three more titles:
A.K.A.-47: Rather surprisingly, given that all the guns involved are almost 200 years old, and are presumably no longer covered by trademark. Although it may simply be for simplicity's sake, as "Classic Rifle" is a lot shorter to write than "Winchester Model 1892".
In the extra story on the original Call of Juarez The unnamed sheriff kills his corrupt boss, County Commissioner Grizzwald, and the bandit, Vasquez, is executed leaving Round Rock in peace... but the whole town saw him gun down Grizzwald and Vasquez was the only person who knew he was corrupt, forcing the sheriff to flee to Mexico, or get hung by the citizens.
In the main ending Juarez is killed, Billy and Molly get married, and Billy has finally found the treasure, but Ray dies.
Breakable Weapons: All guns eventually explode after a few dozen shots. How quickly this happens depends on the condition of the weapon, with "rusty" weapons exploding in your hands a lot more quickly than those in good condition. This was removed in Bound in Blood, in favor of more weapon quality levels and stats.
Bullet Time: Ray can go into it when armed with revolvers. Billy can do it, too, after he acquires a bow. Both players can do it in Bound in Blood, to different effects.
The Call Knows Where You Live: In the original, this is what starts the entire story, appropriately enough with "Call of Juarez" even being written near the bodies of Billy's parents. Since the prequel, Bound in Blood, has been released, however, it essentially turns into a case of Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome.
Fisticuffs Boss: There are two in the original game, the bigoted farmhand leader and the final boss.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: While in Hope, before being accused of murder, Billy, armed only with a whip, can, if the player is skilled and determined enough, kill just about the entire town population, without any long-term repercussions.
Guide Dang It: It's not immediately obvious that you have to make the final shot on Juarez as a duel - i.e. flick the control stick to draw - because every previous duel was announced openly.
Guns Akimbo: Ray's most powerful weapon are his trusty dual revolvers, even in the final stages, though everyone else can use them in general. You can even do it with Sawn Off Shotguns.
Hated Hometown: Billy hates his hometown (as well as everything from his crappy childhood, except his mother), but has to return to it in the beginning of the first game.
How We Got Here: The game starts with Ray entering Juarez's compound with a gatling gun before cutting back to Billy arriving home.
Improbable Aiming Skills: Concentration mode causes Bullet Time and lets the player fire and dodge bullets by ducking and leaning while doing so. Ray eventually has to shoot dynamite falling toward him and hit a flaming lamp away from him with bullets alone.
Injun Country: The Native Americans in Call Of Juarez and Bound In Blood are identified as Apache, Comanche, and Navajo; but they all live in tipis, use totem poles, and wear Braids, Beads and Buckskins.
Made of Iron: Mostly averted, as all boss battles are quick-draw duels that end with only a couple shots. The only exception is Juarez himself when you fight him as Ray inside the treasure cave, and his ability to take a few dozen bullets before retreating is later explained by the fact that he's wearing armor just like Ray.
Mayincatec: The final prize in the game are the cursed Aztec treasures. The treasure is identified as the ransom for Montezuma, seized by Cortez's men. The Mayincatec temple near Juarez, roughly 1000 miles north from the territory of the Aztec is another thing though.
Mighty Glacier: Ray combines the toughness and power of a Mighty Glacier (and he is immune to frontal attacks thanks to the cuirass he's wearing) with speed of a Trick Shot, thus being effectively indestructible in combat. Think Death Star on legs.
Neutral Female: Molly during the final fight with Juarez. She just stands frozen in fear while Juarez and Billy duke it out.
Never Bring A Knife To A Fistfight: Subversion: Juarez pulls out a knife after being beaten in a fistfight by Billy. He still loses, but only because Reverend Ray draws a gun and shoots him.
Rail Roading: Early in the game, as Billy enters Hope, sheriff on the bridge will take his gun away. If you try to trick the game by dropping your weapon before the bridge encounter, you'll discover afterwards that it has "mysteriously" vanished.
Redemption Failure: Ray becomes a priest after killing his brother William in Bound in Blood. In the original game, he goes right back to being The Gunslinger after his other brother is killed.
Remember the New Guy: Inverted. In the first game, neither Ray nor Juarez act as though they recognize each other, despite the fact that they're meeting under extremely similar circumstances as before, and neither has changed that much over the past 20 years (Ray is still even wearing his signature armor).
Sins of Our Fathers: It's much more clear if you read the tie-in comic, but the reason Thomas beat Billy mercilessly throughout the poor kid's childhood is because he saw Billy's father Juarez in the kid whenever he looked at him, and was also afraid Billy would grow up to be just like the guy.
Unexpected Gameplay Change: After several levels of linear cowboy slaying, Billy wakes up from a headshot to the face to find himself dumped into a Wide Open Sandbox spirit quest taking place in a huge continuous forest and lake map.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: Ray can shoot an enemy a couple of times, reload, go into Bullet Time and unload two pistol magazines into said enemy. Plus a couple to the head if you're accurate enough.
We Can Rule Together: Juarez makes this offer to his son Billy at the end of the first game. Seeing as how Juarez recently beat him unconscious as well as kidnapped his girlfriend and threatened to rape and kill her, Billy isn't remotely interested.