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Video Game: Commandos

"Yes sir!"
"Coming right over, sir!"

Commandos is a Stealth-based strategy game franchise set in World War II, created by Spanish game developer Pyro Studios. In each game of the series, the player commands an elite squad composed of 6 to 8 Allied soldiers/spies and tries to succeed in Rule of Cool missions - ideally without getting caught by Nazis.

The games in the series so far :
  • Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines (1998)
  • Commandos: Beyond The Call Of Duty (1999 - a Standalone Expansion Pack for the original)
  • Commandos 2: Men of Courage (2001)
  • Commandos 3: Destination Berlin (2003)

Pyro also released a FPS Spin-Off based on the game called Commandos: Strike Force in 2006, but due to its Unexpected Gameplay Change, it's been dismissed by many fans of the series, and even by Pyro themselves.

It has a character sheet, under construction.

The original games of the series provide examples of :

  • 100% Completion: Men of Courage features SideQuests. Finding all the hidden books unlocks Bonus Levels.
  • A.K.A.-47: In Behind Enemy Lines and Beyond the Call of Duty, the main handgun (a Colt M1911A1) of the commandos is named "Smith & Wesson W9" in the manual, and the other firearms are only designated as "rifle", "machine gun", and "sniper rifle". In Destination Berlin too, the firearms are named after totally generic names. Zigzagged in Men of Courage (the firearms have their actual names in the ingame help but generic names during gameplay).
    • The "W9" is implied to be a 9mm pistol. The Driver's manual entry states that .45ACP is difficult for him to come by, forcing him to change weapons.
  • All Germans Are Nazis: Played totally straight in Destination Berlin, to the extend that briefings and cutscenes dialogs only refers to the German as "Nazi".
    • Averted later into the same game, where you have to rescue members of the German resistance.
  • All There in the Manual: The names and short biographies of the commando members.
  • America Wins the War: Averted mostly in the original games. The team is a special unit of British army. The Green Beret is Irish, the Sniper and Sapper are both English, the Marine is Australian, Natasha is Russian and the Spy and Thief are French. Only the Driver is American and he is removed from the third game.
  • Arbitrary Gun Power: All pistols, whether they be chambered in .45ACP, 9mm Parabellum or 8mm Nambu, kill in three shots. The Stg44 kills in two shots. All rifles, regardless of being chambered in .303 British, .30-06, 7.92mm Mauser or 6.5mm Arisaka, fire Instant Death Bullets. The MP40 will kill in one burst, but that counts as multiple hits, obviously.
  • Army of One: In the original game the Green Beret is the most capable commando by a great margin, the best —and sometimes only— weapon of choice except for detonations and aquatic actions. Subsequent games balance things out giving more polivalency to other commandos (for instance expanding the vital ability to knock guards and carry their bodies)
  • Artificial Atmospheric Actions: In Men of Courage and Destination Berlin, the enemy isn't only sentinels and patrolling soldiers, but also secretaries, officers and NCO in offices, unarmed technicians painting walls or repairing vehicles, etc. Which is artificial is that, after an alert, if still alive they come back to their normal standing place and resume their activity. Even if they previously found corpses of their slain comrades there. Several times.
  • Artificial Stupidity: "Heinz, I'm just gonna leave my post for a moment. I saw a pack of cigarettes laying out in the open, on the ice in the arctic desert. I'll go climb down the whole destroyer and get me some of them before someone else decides to." Many of the scenarios would be unwinnable if players were unable to distract anyone.
  • Artistic License: Several cases, though the manual lampshades this.
    • Artistic License – Geography:
      • There are penguins in North Pole in the game, but actually they live in South Pole (lampshaded in Men of Courage manual)
      • There are piranhas in Asian rivers in the game, but actually they only live in South America (lampshaded in Men of Courage manual)
      • The Kwai River bridge is made of wood in the game, but actually it was built in steel (lampshaded in Men of Courage manual)
      • The great Buddha statue seen in Burma is actually a Japanese monument (lampshaded in Men of Courage manual)
      • There are crocodiles in a Normandy town's sewers in Destination Paris
      • In Haiphong, all the boards of the town are written in Japanese (or at least with a Japanese-looking font). The language used in Vietnam is written with the latin alphabet.
      • At that time, however, all of French Indochina, including Vietnam, was occupied by Japan, who may have put up their own signs.
    • Artistic License – History:
      • The Kwai River bridge has never been destroyed (lampshaded in Men of Courage manual)
      • The Shinano aircraft carrier has not been sunk by an air bombing but by a submarine
      • Destination Paris puts some Japanese soldiers in Europe missions and some German soldiers in Asian ones. It also adds new missions in the campaign, in some of them being remakes of the main campaign missions in which German soldiers are totally replaced by Japanese and vice versa
      • There are a few missions which take place before the actual founding of the British Commandos
    • Artistic License – Military:
      • The Green Beret's beret is the wrong way around.
      • Nobody can use grenades, barring the Sapper, which seems to be a massive gap in everyone else's training, though this changes in Destination Berlin.
      • In the original game, nobody can use a rifle, which would be one of the most basic things any soldier, much less a Commando would need to know. Averted from Men Of Courage onwards.
      • In Destination Berlin, several of the commandos are referred to as "sir" by other soldiers despite them all being enlisted men.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: German enemies speak with very mangled German sentences and Japanese ones use an Asian-sounding gibberish.
  • Badass Army: The Commandos themselves.
  • Badass Normal: The Allied soldiers that turn up from Men Of Courage onwards. They can shoot from longer distances than the commandos and can take cover behind their backpacks.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: The second mission of Men of Courage features one as a tactic to enter the submarine base, described in the briefing: 1) Send the pass to the Spy by using the dog 2) Find an officer uniform 3) Steal a car 4) Enter in the base driving the car and dressed as a German officer.
  • Bear Trap: One of the weapons used by the Sapper in Behind Enemy Lines and Beyond the Call of Duty. They're used by the Driver in Men of Courage.
  • BFG: The bazooka, the flamethrower, and the fixed machine guns. In Destination Berlin, the Green Beret can take and fire machine guns as they were individual firearms.
  • Big Damn Heroes
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Any knife, when thrown by Fins.
  • Blatant Item Placement:
    • Averted in most of the games. In Behind Enemy Lines, Beyond the Call of Duty and Destination Berlin, the commandos find new ammunition and explosives in crates paradropped by the Allies or held by the Germans. In Men of Courage, they also find items in containers like wardrobes, safes or desks, and their contents are usually logical (for example, foods, medikits, wine or sleeping pills in civilian houses; weapons, ammunition, and uniforms in barracks; explosives and ammunition in warehouses).
    • Played straight in Destination Paris, in which a lot items can be found in place where they don't make sense, usually lying on the floor (inside, outside, or underwater). Like an unloaded Bazooka on the floor near one exit of a Japanese bunker, a German sub-machine gun in the middle of a river in the Thailand jungle, winter clothes and a fully functional rifle in the sea under the pack ice, a British flamethrower on the pack ice just behind a German destroyer, sleeping pills and wine under the sea in the Pacific Ocean, etc.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Nobody (commandos, allies or enemies) is never shown reloading, even when a member of the team is firing a limited ammunition weapon.
  • Boring but Practical: A pack of cigarettes and your fist are enough to solve 90% of all problems.
  • The Brute:
    • There's a quite big Japanese mook who keeps an eye on Guiness in the River Kwai mission in Men of Courage.
    • Some German Lieutenants are this as well, and they tend to be jailors/torture specialists.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Averted by the Spy and the Thief in the original games (Commandos: Strike Force Spy is an American agent, not a French one), and by French Resistance in the whole serie.
  • Circling Birdies: Around the head of knocked out enemies, with the "star" variant.
  • Cold Sniper: Duke is described as this in the manual, and every bit of dialogue he has with his colleagues is unfailingly abrasive.
    • A German one shows up in the Stalingrad scenario of Commandos: Destination Berlin, in a Shout-Out to Enemy at the Gates.
    • Men of Courage has quite a lot of these throughout the game. They can spot your Commandos at any range even when they are crawling and will never lose track of them unless they physically hide behind something.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard
  • Contrived Coincidence: In the train mission of Destination Berlin, no matter how many time the team used to kill everyone on the train and stop it, the Green Beret always split the engine and first armored wagon from the train just before they reach a bridge.
  • Covers Always Lie: Commandos 3 cover features the Green Beret armed with a Thompson submachinegun, which is a weapon which doesn't appear at all in the game.
    • The backcover of Commandos 2 shows pictures of missions in which some important elements have changed when the games has been released (day missions shown as night missions, a commando member appears in a mission he/she isn't supposed to be according to the released product, a tank appears at Colditz, etc).
  • Crew of One: Averted in Men of Courage. The Driver can drive tanks, but the Sapper must be on-board to fire the cannon.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Particularly in the first game, the Commandos had very little abilities beyond their own field of excellence. The Sniper suffered worst from this. Later installments fixed this somewhat by making most Commandos able to knock out enemies and use weapons beyond their puny pistols.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: The opening cutscene of the "Saving Private Smith" mission (Men of Courage) ends with three commandos of the team (of four members) captured by the German after doing what the player usually does (sneaking and stabbing).
  • Death from Above:
    • A few missions of Behind Enemy Lines and Beyond the Call of Duty requires to destroy huge German cannons. They are just inert prop which only serve as target, though.
    • V2 rockets are objectives in a couple of Behind Enemy Lines missions late in the campaign. Like previously, they are inert objects.
    • The bombing of the Shinano in Men of Courage
    • German bombs fall on Stalingrad during the Protect general O'Donell mission of Destination Berlin, battleships fire on the Normandy beach during the last mission
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Natasha's main ability.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Aside from the Spy (and Natasha in Men of courage), the rest of the commandos can do this in later games, only it's not as effective.
  • Easy Communication: A team of six men reacts immediatly to orders even if each of them are in totally different places of the map... A bit downplayed in Men of Courage and Destination Berlin, which features a few mission where some members of the team are stuck in a remote place (sometime in a jail, but not always) and can't be controlled until they are found by the other commandos.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Savo bunkers in Men of Courage.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: The main characters are members of the British Commandos. There is also one mission (in Men of Courage) which features the famous Ghurkas.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • The Nazi machine gunners in the first games.
    • Those Gestapo officers that can see immediately through the Spy and Natasha's disguise in Beyond the Call of Duty.
    • In Men of Courage, SS officers can do the same at any range as well as Wehrmacht officers at close range. The Destination Paris mod adds elite snipers and machine gunners with an increased range and damages.
    • The paratroopers are able to unmask the Spy in Destination Berlin.
  • Escort Mission: Many of them.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Although they appear in the manuals of each game, the characters' names are mentioned ingame in Destination Berlin. Prior to that, they are only mentioned by job title (Natasha excluded) or nicknames.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: There are penguins in the North Pole mission of Men of Courage.
  • Exploding Barrels: They sometimes have to be used to destroy some objectives. The Green Beret can carry them.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The only way to explain why a German/Japanese soldier would run right to a huge triggered Bear Trap or a thread especially put there to make him trip. It becomes blatant when the reason why they run there is because they saw a pack of cigarettes.
  • Fog of War: Notably averted; the Commandos can see what's happening all over the outdoor map, although this typically shouldn't be possible.
  • Forced Tutorial: Only in Men of Courage. Behind Enemy Lines and Beyond The Call of Duty feature tutorial as missions totally separated from the campaign, and Destination Berlin tutorial is an independant campaign.
  • Freak Out:
    • Very rarely and mostly in the earlier maps, if you kill 2-3 members of a patrol the remaining one will run awkwardly to the end of the map and never be seen again.
    • Something similar happens in Men of Courage: if a tied up and stripped from his clothes enemy is woken by his comrade, he will run to the edge of the map in his underwear and exit the mission
  • Genre-Busting: The series is somewhere between Real-Time Strategy and Stealth-Based Game. It becomes its own genre (the other most well-known games of this genre being the Desperados series).
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy:
    • In one level of Destination Berlin, the Green Beret, the Sniper and the Sapper have been captured and taken to Berlin. The level begins with the Green Beret locked in a cell with a guard, who turns his back on a huge, muscular, unrestrained and incredibly angry Irishman with a penchant for beating the crap out of everyone who pisses him off.
    • See the Artificial Stupidity, Failed a Spot Check, and Too Dumb to Live entries.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Any writings on walls and boards of a Vietnamese town is written in Japanese.
    • Possibly justified as the Japanese weren't known for respecting the culture of those they conquered; renaming everything would be in keeping with how they behaved elsewhere, notably Korea and Manchuria.
  • Heal Thyself: The medkits in every game. One of your commandos (primarily the Driver, but the Sniper of Spy if he's not present) is issued with a medical kit with limited uses in Behind Enemy Lines and Beyond The Call Of Duty. Med kits are more abudant in later games, but they are automatically used in Destination Berlin. Army rations are also available in Men Of Courage.
  • Honey Trap: Implied reference in the first mission of Men Of Courage. To enter into the office of the base commander, one of the steps requires to make him leave. How? Natasha has to phone him, probably promitting... something. However, nothing happens, the goal is just to make him leave his office and Natasha stands him up. Actually ordering Natasha to join him where he is pointlessly waiting isn't adviced at all: any officer of the game is able to see through Natasha and the Spy disguise when close enough.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: The lesser healing item of Men Of Courage is a sealed can of food. It heals half of the commando health.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal:
    • Averted in Behind Enemy Lines and Beyond the Call of Duty. The commandos don't have a true inventory, but their actions menu is shaped like a backpack (with a gun, a knife, etc). Although there is a Good Bad Bug allowing the Marine to carry several members of the team in his backpack (by folding his inflatable boat when commandos are still inside)
    • The commandos of Men of Courage and Destination Berlin have a real inventory (of limited size) which can be filled freely. The player can put in the inventory of a commando things like ten identical rifles with a lot of ammunitions, ten handgrenades, an inflatable boat, ten Army ration cans, and ten German/Japanese uniforms. Also, with the exception of the Sapper (whose uniform features several pouches), the Sniper, and Natasha (both are shown with the sniper rifle on their back if they have one), no commando have clothes with apparent pouches or backpack
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Downplayed in Men of Courage. The difficulty levels are "Normal", "Difficult", and "Realist".
  • Imperial Japan: In Men of Courage.
  • Improvised Weapon: Men of Courage and Destination Berlin features Molotov Cocktail. Men of Courage also includes wine bottles (only used this way by Natasha) and a blowtorch which is supposed to be a tool to unlock some special doors, but it can be used as an improvised flamethrower.
  • Infinite Supplies:
    • In each game, enemies and allied soldiers don't consume any ammunitions when firing.
    • The commandos have an infinite amount of ammunitions for their handguns (any games), the Marine harpoon (any games), the Lee-Enfield rifle (specific weapon of the Driver in Beyond the Call of Duty, usable by anyone in Men of Courage and Destination Berlin; its munitions are limited in Destination Berlin), the Spy syringes (present in any game, its munitions are limited in Men of Courage and Destination Berlin), and the vehicles/mounted weapons.
    • In Destination Paris, the unlimited ammunitions feature of the standard allied handgun and the harpoon have been deleted, but most recent versions of the mod features missions with hidden special versions of handguns/rifles/submachineguns, with unlimited ammunitions
  • Instant Death Bullet: The rifle and sniper rifle both kill with one shot. Averted with the pistol, which takes three shots to kill someone (two for the snipers of Destination Berlin), and the assault rifle from Destination Berlin, which takes two.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: In Men of Courage and Destination Berlin.
  • Ironic Nickname: Most of the characters have fairly descriptive nicknames: the explosive specialist is Inferno, the uncanny master of disguises is Spooky, the guy who swam across the English channel is Fins... and then, there's Tiny, who is simply huge. Averted in Destination Berlin where his nickname is Butchernote .
  • It's Raining Men: German paratroopers are seen doing this during the second mission of the Destination Berlin second mission of the Stalingrad campaign.
    • The Green Beret can parachute in in one mission in Men Of Courage.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: The Nazis try this on your men when they've been captured in Men Of Courage. They're not exactly successful.
  • Jack O'Hara Is About To Shoot You: The covers for Behind Enemy Lines and Beyond The Call Of Duty.
  • Just a Stupid Accent:
    • In the French dubbing of the series, most of the team speak with an Anglo-saxon sounding accent (except the Spy) in Behind Enemy Lines and Beyond the Call of Duty.
    • The Thief and the Spy have a thick French accent in the English dubbing of the games. It is weird, if you remember that the Spy is supposed to be fluent in English, German, and a few other languages.
    • In the French dubbing of Men of Courage and Destination Berlin, the only members of the team with an accent are Natasha and the Marine. The allied soldiers (except the British sailors and the Ghurkas) don't have an accent in Men of Courage but have an Anglo-saxon one in Destination Berlin.
    • In any dubbing, Natasha always speaks with a thick Russian accent.
    • The Asian NPC (the contacts, the spiritual leader and the Ghurkas) of Men of Courage.
    • The Russian NPC in the Stalingrad campaign of Destination Berlin.
  • Justified Tutorial: Behind Enemy Lines and Beyond the Call of Duty have their tutorials set in the Commandos training center, as missions totally independant from the rest of their campaign.
  • Lens Flare: Around the projectors in the night mission opening the Normandy campaign of Destination Berlin.
  • Limited Wardrobe:
    • Each character has only two apparences in Behind Enemies Lines and Beyond the Call of Duty (except the uniforms stolen by the Spy): cold/mild weather and hot weather. It means that they look exactly the same in France and in Norway.
    • Also true in Men of Courage. Default appearance of members of the team is the same in the night-infiltration missions, the temperate missions (France, Germany), and the hot missions (Burma, Kwai river). In the opening cutscene of the Burman mission, they even complain of the warm weather of the place. Averted in the North Pole mission, though, when going outside for too long without special winter clothing will eventually kill the commandos.
    • This trope is averted in Destination Paris. Commandos appearance have been reskinned, so they wear more adapted clothes during the night-infiltration and in the jungle.
  • Locomotive Level / Train Job: A famous level of Destination Berlin.
  • Lost Forever:
    • There is two instances of this, in Men of Courage and Destination Berlin. Both examples are related to specific buildings, serving as targets which are objectives for destruction in their mission, both harbour useful items. Blowing both buildings completly prevent to go inside again.
    • The second mission of Men of Courage as a workshop in which lies a torpedo. Blowing the building without fully searching it won't have any other actual bad consequence than making a part of the bonus-mission unlocking puzzle to become unreachable, thus preventing to access it.
    • The first Normandy mission of Destination Berlin is related to the ammunition warehouse of the German base. Destroying it without stealing all the explosives in the crates will make the mission unwinnable (see Unwinnable By Insanity in the YMMV page), as the Sapper doesn't begin the mission with enough explosives to destroy all the targets in his backpack.
  • Made of Explodium: In Behind the Enemy Lines and Beyond the Call of Duty every building and vehicle can be taken out with a single grenade or an oil barrel, and you'll often need to employ this because it's the only way to take out multiple buildings and armored vehicles are Immune to Bullets, and you have no anti-tank weapons (in real life, a hand grenade is about as effective against an armored vehicle as a bullet). Hell, even a few pistol shots can destroy cars and trucks.
  • The Mentor: Although Lt. Colonel Dudley Clark is only mentioned ingame in the intro as the founder of the Commandos, Colonel Montague Smith fills The Mentor role more accurately.
  • The Mole: General O'Donell in Destination Berlin. He is an American general who defect to Germany during the just after a meeting with Russian officers during the battle of Stalingrad, while managing to capture the Green Beret, the Sniper, and the Sapper. He plans to reveal classified allied information to Germany but ends assassinated by the commandos, who manage to break out from their jail of Berlin
  • Multinational Team: Despite being in the British Army, the commandos consist of an Irishman, an American, an Australian, two Frenchmen, a Russian and only two Englishmen.
  • Nazi Germany
  • Nepali With Nasty Knives: One of the Asian missions of Men of Courage requires to find a small Gurkha squad and to control them in order to set an ambush to a Burmese tyran. Unfortunately, they are unable to use their kukris.
  • Never Bareheaded: Most of the characters wear hats (The Green Beret wears a beret, the Diver wears a woolly beanie, the Sapper wears a helmet, the Driver and Thief wear military style caps and the Spy wears either a flatcap when in normal clothes or various reglementary military German headgears when disguised as the enemy). Only the Sniper and Natasha avert this.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Crocodiles appear as hostile animals in a couple of the Asia-set missions of Men of Courage. In Destination Paris, the modders add a few of them in the sewers of the Normandy ruined town.
  • Nintendo Hard: As this page mentions more than once, the guards in the games are idiots, but if they stop your commandos they will often open fire and anything more than a small group will tear your commandos, who aren't much more durable than than the guards, to pieces unless you get the jump on them. Killing them require memorizing their patterns and killing groups of them slowly and patiently, and lots of trial and error.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In Men of Courage last mission (which is set just before the liberation of Paris in August 1944) features an unammed officer (wearing a distinctive high-rank uniform) wandering in a room described by mission objectives to be the Paris German military gouvernor office. Said objectives actually involve to enter his office to disable the control pannel of explosives installed on Parisian monuments; said general is totally unrelated to the objectives and can be killed without any penaltynote  or mission failure.
  • No-Gear Level: Saving Private Smith and White Death in Men Of Courage and the last level of the first campaign in Destination Berlin, which happens to be in Berlin.
  • No Peripheral Vision: In Men of Courage and Destination Berlin, the Green Beret, the Sniper, and the Thief are totally invisible if they are atop of a pole or go hanging to telegraphic wires (for the Green Beret and the Thief). The latter is even a very useful tactic of infiltration.
  • No Swastikas: Averted in the series. However, Destination Berlin has a few instance where the swastika is weirdly replaced by other Imperial German symbols (in front of the German embassy of London and inside the Reichstag of Berlin).
  • Non-Action Guy: Captain Mc Rae and the German resistance members in Behind Enemy Lines, Dragisa Skopje in Beyond The Call Of Duty and Wilson and Whiskey in Men Of Courage. Justified in most cases as, apart from Wilson and Whiskey, the rest are prisoners being rescued.
  • Nonindicative Name: Commandos 3: Destination Berlin. There is a mission in Berlin, but isn't the last of the game. The Berlin mission is the ending of the first campaign and occurs in late 1942 or early 1943, the last mission of the last campaign is set on a Normandy beach during the D-Day.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: In the lowest difficulty setting of Men of Courage, when a commando's health reachs its lowest point, the man is only stunned until he is healed (by another member of the team, or by himself if he is already carrying a medkit or a can of food).
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • True with both sides: harpoon, sniper rifle, knife (stabbing and throwing), fire, direct explosions (excluding the Green Beret, which can survive them in the early game), the Spy syringe in the early games, smashing by a vehicle.
    • One-Hit Kill when used by the player but not by the AI: rifle.
  • One Size Fits All: In Men Of Courage and Destination Berlin, every commando can wear any enemy uniform taken on a private. It will fit them perfectly, even if the characters don't have the same weight/height at all.
    • Averted with the Thief. Make him wear anything with sleeves, and you can clearly see how they're too long for him. Still played straight with the Green Beret, though.
  • One-Woman Wail: Some themes of Men of Courage OST, especially a few of the underwater areas.
  • On Site Procurement: From Men Of Courage onwards, you can collect weapons from the enemy and from crates. In the original game, the allies do drop gear for you to collect.
  • Oxygen Meter: In Men Of Courage and Destination Berlin, but isn't very long. When the meter is empty, the commando begins to suffer damages. When the Marine wears his scuba gear, he can stay underwater for an infinite time.
  • Pacifist Run: Possible from Beyond The Call Of Duty onwards. In fact, Men Of Courage encourages this by giving more merit points for knocking out and tying up as many enemies as possible. The first (non-tutorial) mission of Men Of Courage is even a forced Pacifist Run, it is a night-infiltration mission, where there isn't a single weapon to find in the map, and the only two commandos available (Natasha and Lupin) doesn't have any capacity which allow them to tie up any enemy (required to steal weapons).
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • In Men of Courage and Destination Berlin, a commando can disguise with enemy privates uniforms. Except the Spy, who will be almost perfectly disguised, for gameplay reason the character will only be shown as wearing trousers and a jacket/shirt, but not the hat / helmet fitting those clothes (imagine how efficient would be a disguise if it consists of wearing German army trousers and coat, but keeping your British Commandos beret...). The trope is subverted, as such a disguise is not efficient when seen too close, and a few Elite Mook recognize immediatly the wearer, no matter how far he is.
    • In those games, stolen enemy uniforms have a kind of timer, which decrease when worn (except when worn by the Spy) and can be refiled by finding other uniform (even identical ones). It sounds a bit like this clothes were litterally made of paper.
  • Piranha Problem: They can be seen in rivers of a couple of the Asian-set missions of Men of Courage. It is an exemple of Artistic License – Geography, as they only live in South America.
  • Rare Guns: The StG44 appears in Destination Berlin, even during the "Stalingrad" campaign (set before the invention of this weapon).
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: A Fighting Irish Blood Knight with a propensity for Good Old Fisticuffs and knife play who was convicted of striking an officer, an aristocratic Cold Sniper, an alcoholic who swam the English channel on a bet, a Mad Bomber, an American criminal who joined the British army to escape the US authorities, a former member of French embassy personal in Germany and Master of Disguise, a thief and Russian seductress.
  • Reading The Enemy's Mail: The plot of the three first missions of Men of Courage revolves around the Enigma machine.
  • Red Shirt Army: Averted by the Allied soldiers and Ghurkas in Men Of Courage and Destination Berlin. They're pretty useful in a straight fight and in setting up ambushes.
  • Reds with Rockets: Soviets appear as allies in Destination Berlin.
  • Remixed Level:
    • In the first game, there is a level that takes place during Operation Market Garden. The first time, the protagonists must prevent the Germans from destroying the bridge. The next time, they must destroy the very same bridge. The historical irony is justified by the fact that Operation Market Garden didn't really go that well for the Allies and they had to destroy captured bridges to prevent the Germans from taking advantage of them.
    • Two bonus missions of Men of Courage are a Remixed Level of the first tutorial mission.
    • Most of the new missions added by the Destination Paris mod are Remixed Level of the main campaign. Most of the remaining are remakes of Destination Berlin and Beyond the Call of Duty.
    • The second to last German mission of Destination Berlin requires to take a town. The last mission is an ambush to a German convoy which crosses this town.
  • Save Scumming: You'll need it.
    • A former French version of Destination Paris lampshaded it by replacing the "Empty slot" text of the saving menu by something like "True gamers don't use this option".
  • Scenery Porn: The levels set in Europe have a certain drab, grey appeal, but then you see the sunny shores of Savo Island, with its crystal blue waters and lush tropical jungle, and you wonder why the series had to return to Europe at all...
  • Scenery Gorn: The ruined Normandy town of Men of Courage and Stalingrad in Destination Berlin.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty:
    • Some bonus missions of Men of Courage are harder than the main campaign. Some others are a cakewalk.
    • The Stalingrad campaign of Destination Berlin (the first, excluding the Tutorial) is the hardest of the game.
  • Selective Historical Armoury:
    • In Men of Courage and Destination Berlin, the official weaponry of the commandos is a combination of British (Lee-Enfield rifle, PIAT, Mills bombs) and American (Colt M 1911 A 1, M1903 Springfield) weapons. Allied soldiers of Men of Courage (it is never specified if they are American, British, Australian, or whatever) use the same arsenal.
    • Russian and British/American soldiers in Destination Berlin hold German weapons.
    • More egregrious is the complete lack of any SMG apart from the MP40 (and the Grease Gun in the original) - the Commandos were famed for using Thompsons, to the extent it featured on their insignia (and the cover of Destination Berlin).
    • German officers and NC Os are only armed with P08 Luger, despite this weapon being gradually replaced with P38 Walther since the beginning of the war.
    • When the Green Beret storms the beaches of Normandy in the final mission of Destination Berlin, he is carrying a Kar98 in his inventory, as opposed to a Lee-Enfield.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: Men Of Courage is noticeably easier than the previous instalments (though, by no means a cakewalk). Then the trope is averted by Destination Berlin, thanks to its action missions coupled with unadapted gameplay.
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: While the pistol and submachine guns actually have a fairly realistic maximum range, the rifle and sniper rifle's maximum range have been somewhat nerfed for balance reasons. For some reason, regular allied soldiers can shoot further with the rifle than the commandos can.
  • Shooting Superman: If you steal a panzer III or IV, all the foot soldiers will still shoot at it even though, as you would expect, the tanks are Immune to Bullets.
  • Shout-Out: Lots, especially to movies — note in particular "Bridge Over the River Kwai" from Men of Courage, involving the demolition of a (different) bridge over said river, and the rescue of "Colonel Guiness" (Alec Guiness played Colonel Nicholson in the movie).
  • Simultaneous Warning And Action: On spotting a Commando, the enemies will tell them to halt. Stopping may buy the player a few seconds, just enough to resolve the situation by killing the guards with other Commandos. If left on their own devices, the enemies will just open fire on the caught Commando. This is actually justified - the German soldiers had orders to kill any caught commandos immediately, even if they tried to surrender.
  • Sniper Duel: The first mission in Destination Berlin. It is a Shout-Out to Enemy at the Gates.
  • Snow Means Death: In the "White Death" mission in Men Of Courage, leaving your men outdoors for too long without arctic clothing for too long will result in death by exposure. Justified in that it's set somewhere in the Arctic circle.
  • Sprint Meter: Sort of, in Men of Courage. There isn't actual sprint meter (the team can run during an infinite time), but climbing (ladders, poles, walls) consums an endurance meter.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Commandos 2 and Commandos 3 have 3D indoor areas with a fully rotatable view; the large outdoor maps, however, appear in 2D isometric view (or, more precisely, four isometric views each; the player can switch between the four cardinal directions for different views).
  • Stealth Run:
    • Achieving one in a mission grants more merit points at the score screen of the mission in Men of Courage.
    • Enforced in the series: several missions of the games ends with a defeat if the alarm is set on.
  • Storming the Castle: The obligatory Normandy Landing in Destination Berlin's final mission.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: several missions involve real (or at least realistic) German high technology, usually to be stolen or destroyed.
    • Behind Enemy Lines ends with a mission which backstory involves stopping the German nuclear weapon program. The game also features two missions which requires to destroy some V2 rockets
    • Beyond the Call of Duty features a mission which require to steal a German radar, one mission which require to destroy a big cannon, and one where the player has to destroy some German jet aircrafts
  • Take Your Time: Most of the games, with a few exceptions (mostly in Destination Berlin). The most obvious example is the train mission of Destination Berlin: logically, if you take too much time to stop the train, it would eventually reach its destination, no? No. Although this detail is corrected in the remake include in Destination Paris (with a 90 minutes timer).
  • Tap on the Head: The punch (or kick in the Thief's case) knocks out any enemy in one blow. Though when it's first introduced as an ability for the Green Beret in Beyond The Call Of Duty, it will only work from behind on an enemy that hasn't already spotted you.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: The Driver and the Marine in the original game are, respectively, fairly useless outside of levels with no hijack-able vehicles or water, hence they aren't used in them or they'd just be dead weight (the driver sometimes acts a medic, but your commandos are usually dead if they get spotted so that's not a very useful ability; the Marine can shoot lone enemies with his harpoon, a One-Hit Kill weapon with a very long reloading time). If those levels have either of them, they're essential, particularly the driver if there's an armored car or panzer for him to steal which allows him to rip through most anything.
  • Threatening Shark: In the underwater areas of Savo island in Men of Courage. They are less dangerous than Japanese frogmen.
  • Timed Mission:
    • Averted in most of the series... except in a third of the Destination Berlin missions.
    • The Destination Paris version of the Colditz mission has a one hour timer which starts when the alarm is set. When it reachs 00:00, the Thief is executed and the Germans destroy the classified documents that the commandos intend to steal. It also gives a one and an half hour timer to the remake of the train mission of Destination Berlin.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • The patrols will happily keep following the exact same route, even if one of them dies every time at the exact same spot.
    • In Men of Courage, enemies are extremely careless when they see a corpse - they just blindly rush towards it, being extremely easy to ambush in the process. It is extremely easy to set up Schmuck Baits.
    • As mentioned above they go out of their way to get a pack of cigarettes or wine laying in the open. The most extreme examples of this come from locations like german destroyers in the arctic circle. Some guards will locate a single pack of cigarettes among the blinding white snow, leave their post, sometimes venture through the entire ship, leave the ship and walk into the open land just to get some of those nicotin sticks. Usually he gets a boot to the head instead.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Natasha has become an accomplished sniper between Beyond the Call of Duty and Men of courage. Applies to the others as well - almost everyone in the team has learned some barehanded combat, driving cars, swimming and using clever distractions, not to mention serious rifle skills.
  • Those Wacky Nazis
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • A Men of Courage trailer shows the summit of the Eiffel Tower and streets of Paris (parts of the last level), and an extract of the bombing of the Shinano cutscene.
    • There is a Destination Berlin trailer in which the first gameplay sequences shows the Normandy beach, which is the last mission of the game. It also shows the ending of the train mission, when the locomotive falls in gap caused by the destruction of a bridge.
  • Traintop Battle: The most memorable mission of Destination Berlin, featured prominently in previews and trailers.
  • True Companions: The Commandos themselves, according to the manual. Each man is stated to be irreplaceable and losing even one fails the mission.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Men of Courage first bonus mission is not a stealth infiltration mission at all, but a timed race with a motorboat inside a circuit delimited by seamines.
  • Universal Ammunition:
    • The Sniper can load his Springfield rifle (7,62mm in Real Life) with ammunitions looted from German (7,92mm) and Japanese (6,5mm) snipers.
    • Pushed further in Destination Paris, in which the allied gun (.45ACP) use the same ammunition as the German (9mm) and Japanese (8mm) ones.
    • In Destination Berlin, Lee-Enfield rifles (.303 British) can be loaded with German ammunitions (7,92mm).
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Played straight in Behind Enemy Lines and Beyond The Call Of Duty, averted in Men Of Courage onwards (except for the German grenaders, who can be stripped from their uniform and gun but not their grenades) where the commandos can strip disabled/killed enemy soldiers of their weapons, and even steal their uniforms for temporary disguises (or permanent disguises, in the case of the Spy). Note that in latter games, enemies killed with fire can't be stripped from their stuff.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: The Burma mission was possibly this in older versions of Destination Paris when playing in higher difficulty modes. The mod adds several other soldiers and sentinels in every missions, and also new commandos. In this mission, Natasha is waiting in a corner of the map. The problem was, because of the added Japanese patrols, they could be seen and attacked by crocodiles, which triggers the alarm and sends other patrols in remote corners... So, if the player is not fast enough, the Japanese find Natasha and kill her, which triggers an automatic defeat in the "Difficult" and "Realistic" difficulty modes (not in "Normal" mode; see the Non-Lethal K.O. and We Cannot Go On Without You entries). This problem is corrected in more recent versions of the mod, in which the crocodiles of this level have been removed from the surface areas and only appear underwater.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: There is a quite long video on YouTube about how to feed Japanese prisoners to the crocodiles. And that's only one of many possibilities.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Men of Courage score system encourages the use of non-lethal force to supress the enemies. Higher ranks can't be reached if the commandos just kill their way through.
  • Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: It is an insta-kill weapon, but it has a very short range and consums its ammunitions very quickly. It has also other drawbacks, when considering that Commandos is a stealth-based game: burning enemies will run a bit while screaming before collapsing and dying (which can set on the alarm), the fire destroys the stuff carried by enemies.
  • Villains Out Shopping: In Men of Courage, there are a few places when the commandos meet German and Japanese soldiers not in duty but in dormitories or in shower rooms. There are also the Haiphong mission, in which the Southern quarter of the town is contains shops and bars full of Japanese soldiers, and the Paris mission, in which we can see a few German soldiers playing soccers not far of the Eiffel Tower.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: Lose any of your commandos and it's mission failed. Avoided in the easiest difficulty mode of Men of Courage, where death is replaced by a Non-Lethal K.O..
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Systematically happens to the special one-mission characters.
  • A Winner Is You: In Destination Berlin. There is no score screen at all and the campaigns except the last one - Normandy -, which is followed by a montage of the greatest moments of the game ends with an abrupt "[Name of the mission] completed" message in the middle of the screen, followed by a forced return to the main menu.
  • With This Herring: The series is very guilty of this, especially in the early episodes. You don't keep your stuff between missions, anyway.
    • Several missions require to destroy targets with explosives... that you have to steal from the German right in the area.
    • There are examples of missions in the initial episode in which the team starts with three sniper rifle bullets (less than a full magazinenote  of the weapon in real life) and one grenade.
    • Commandos 2: Men of Courage and Commandos 3: Destination Berlin are a bit more realist in this aspect. The sniper now starts with five bullets in his rifle instead of three. The spy's syringe is initially only loaded with three doses (you need two doses to stun an enemy).
  • You Shall Not Pass: A few missions from Men Of Courage and Destination Berlin involve defending your position from hordes and hordes of incoming enemies.
  • Zerg Rush: One of the bonus missions in Men of Courage involves hordes of German soldiers swarming onto your position. For many, it's That One Level.

Commandos: Strike Force provide examples of :

  • A.K.A.-47: Averted.
  • America Wins the War: Sort of. The team belongs to American special forces, but only one theme is American (the tow others are British and German).
  • Backstab: Each member of the team has a special One-Hit Kill attack that can be used against unaware enemies. The Green Beret and the Sniper stab the target, the Spy strangles it with a piano string.
  • BFG: The Panzerfaust.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Commandos: Strike Force is dismissed by Pyro.
  • The Cavalry: There are two siege defense mission, which both end with the simultaneous arrival of German heavier troops and allied reinforcements.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Averted. The French Resistance is an important ally in the first missions of the campaign.
  • Cold Sniper: A German one appears in a sniping-oriented mission set in Stalingrad. He is named Major Konig.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: In the minimap in the bottom of the screen. Allies and non-controlled party members are blue triangle, unaware enemies are green triangles, suspicious enemies are yellow triangles, and alerted hostile enemies are red triangles.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: The first mission set in Soviet Union begins by the capture of the Green Beret and the Sniper.
  • Death from Above: German mortars and artillery in some missions.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: There is a mission in which the Spy of the team has to murder a German officer inside a bordello (among other objectives). When entering, the Spy is met by a woman working there who offers him to distract the Gestapo officer who is watching the stairs nearby.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: The heroes are three OSS agents.
  • Elite Mooks: Those Gestapo officers that can see through the Spy's disguise
  • Escort Mission: From time to time, with a subversion. The escortees only walk in a safe area. If not, they stop and hide until the player characters manage to clean the area.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Averted. Although the characters are named Green Beret, Sniper, and Spy in the titles of the their subtitled dialog lines, they are always adressed by name or rank in the actual conversation.
  • Everything Fades: Corpses (and the weapon they carried) disappear by themselves after a few minutes. Fortunately, because alarm is raised when an enemy sees a corpse, but the Strike Force is unable to move a dead enemy.
  • Exploding Barrels: Appear from time to time.
  • Follow the Leader: The Genre Shift was down to the likes of Medal of Honor and Call of Duty being popular at the time.
  • Forced Tutorial: The tutorial consists in a few messages and cutscenes in the first missions, which explains how to use the commandos' abilities.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In terms of gameplay and scoring, the Unique Enemy Major Gorlitz isn't considered as an officer (which he is, according to his rank) but as a general.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: There are occasional secondary objectives requiring to look for some documents or items.
  • Heal Thyself: The three player characters can carry up to four medkits. They serve to heal the character who bears one or to help a fallen ally (another commando or a NPC).
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence
  • It's Raining Men: The beginning of the campaign involves American paratroopers jumping above French country.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: The German are seen beating the captured Green Beret and Sniper in the Soviet Union mission.
  • MacGuffin: The relic in the first half of the Russian part of the game. The only information given to the player is that the Strike Force must retrieve it from the German.
  • The Medic:
    • A couple of missions involve an ally which can drag to safety an injuried commando or give medkits when asked.
    • As explained in the Heal Thyself entry, each member of the team can have this role.
  • The Mole: Commissar Salenkov. The Green Beret suspects that the mole is the Spy.
  • Molotov Cocktail: A weapon for the Driver in Men Of Courage. It's Awesome but Impractical, as a screaming Man on Fire will alert enemies and render any equipment he's carrying useless.
  • Multinational Team: The Strike Force is a unit of the American army, but only one of them (the Green Beret) is actually American. The Sniper is British and the Spy is German.
  • Mythology Gag: Whiskey the dog from Men Of Courage makes a brief cameo in the ending.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Used in a fighting track of the game’s OST
  • One-Hit Kill: Backstab, gas grenades, sniper rifle, Molotov cocktails.
  • One-Hit Polykill: Allowed by the sniper rifle. It is even adviced in a sniper-oriented mission.
  • Oxygen Meter: The Stamina bar has this role when a commando is swimming.
  • Reds with Rockets: The latest missions have the commandos helping the Russians in Stalingrad.
  • Remixed Level:
    • The first missions in France are about capturing a farm, then holding it. The next mission is a stealth counter-attack of the Spy in the same area.
    • The second to last and last missions in Norway are respectively the stealth capture of a town, and then its defence against German reinforcements.
    • The first Russian mission is about entering inside a German base. The third is about leaving this base (the second mission is set inside the undergrounds of the base).
  • La Résistance: A couple of missions feature French and Norwegian freedom fighters helped by the Strike Force.
  • Scenery Gorn : Stalingrad ruins.
  • Selective Historical Armoury: The only pistol carried by Germans is a P08 Luger, which is iconic but was progressively replaced by the standard P38 since the late Thirties.
  • Shout-Out: There is one sniper-themed mission in the ruins of Stalingrad, featuring a unique German Sniper named Major Koenig.
  • Snow Means Death: Sort of, it is not actually snow but frozen water. The only commando able to swim for a few time during the Norway missions is the Sniper, the others have their oxygen / stamina meter drained very quickly if they try.
  • Sprint Meter: Drained when running, swimming underwater, and jumping.
  • Stealth Run:
    • Encouraged in the whole game. Eliminating enemies with the stealth backstab is better for the scoring.
    • It is enforced in a few mission, in which raising the alarm triggers a countdown which ends in the failure of the mission if the alerted enemies are still alive when the countdown reachs 0.
  • Three-Man Band: Unfortunatly, they is no mission in which all the three can be controlled in the same time.
  • Unique Enemy: There are a few generals / officers with a unique outfit and face, and with a name inside the briefings, but who have standard stats. They are Major Gorlitz (explicte target of an assassination mission), Major Koenig, and Commissar Salenkov.
  • Unlockable Content: Completing missions unlocks artworks and sketches from the game's developpement.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Averted. Although it can seem to be played straight if you play the game for the first time: each commando can only pick specific weapons from fallen enemies, and the campaign begins with a Sniper-only mission (this commando can only pick pistols and sniper rifles, two weapons rare ingame).
  • Villains Out Shopping: German soldiers and officers visiting a French bordello.
  • You Shall Not Pass: The Norway and Russia parts of the campaign both end with the Green Beret and the Sniper helping Russian army /Norwegian partisans having to stand a siege to repell a German invasion.

Castle WolfensteinStealth-Based GameCovert Action
Colin McRae RallyUsefulNotes/Play Station 2 Contra
Combat MissionWebsite/GOG.comConsortium
Rise of the RedsReal-Time StrategyCompany of Heroes
Axis And AlliesWorks Set in World War IIBattlefield
Command & Conquer: Red AlertVideo Games of the 1990sConstructor

alternative title(s): Commandos
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