[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/choplifter.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Being a hero isn't easy, or everybody would be one.]]

In an international incident, the militaristic Bungeling Empire has kidnapped the 64 delegates to the UsefulNotes/UnitedNations Conference on Peace and Child Rearing. Exploiting an ancient treaty with the United States, you have disguised a helicopter as a sorting machine and smuggled it to a mail distribution center near the border where the hostages are being kept. An opportunity comes when one of the Bungeling's barracks suddenly catches fire, and the hostages run about frantically. As Bungeling planes and tanks approach, you rush to your chopper, seizing this brief opportunity for heroism...

''Choplifter!'' is a side-scrolling action game developed by Dan Gorlin and published by Creator/BroderbundSoftware. Initially released for the UsefulNotes/AppleII, its popularity soon caused it to get [[PortOverdosed ported to every major home computer and video game system available,]] as well as an arcade version from Creator/{{Sega}}.

The game itself is very simple -- fly your helicopter across the border, rescue hostages, and return them to the safety of the nearby post office. The wrinkle is that the chopper and the hostages are ''very'' fragile; a single hit is enough to shoot down the player, and hostages are quickly killed if they are crushed by tanks, shot by gunfire, or squashed by the chopper's landing skids.

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!!''Choplifter!'' demonstrates the following tropes:

* EscortGame: One of the first.
* GlassCannon: The player's chopper has unlimited ammunition, but will go down from a single Bungeling hit.
* HellishCopter: The chopper crashes if it gets shot once, or even grazes the ground.
* HostageSituation
* HurricaneOfPuns: The manual mentions special keys called Francis Scott Key, Boris Spasskey and Albuquerkey.
* NoCasualtiesRun: Enforced; the only way to get the good ending is to save all 64 hostages, losing none.
* PortOverdosed: The game has been ported to the Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit computers, the VIC-20, Commodore 64, ColecoVision, and MSX; enhanced versions were also released for the Atari 7800 and Atari XEGS, along with the arcade game from Creator/{{Sega}}, which in turn was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Master System in 1986. Ironically, a PC version was started but never completed due to industry problems.
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: WordOfGod is that the game scenario was based on the Iranian Hostage Crisis of TheSeventies.
* SharedUniverse: After the success of ''Choplifter!,'' Brøderbund Software tried to work the Bungeling Empire into its early action games, particularly ''VideoGame/LodeRunner'' and ''VideoGame/RaidOnBungelingBay.''
* ShootEmUp: Tehhnically, yes, though the game downplays the gunplay and emphasizes careful flying instead.
* SideView