Video Game / Crimson Skies

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There are three arcade flight-based Video Games published by Microsoft Game Studios: Crimson Skies for the PC, an arcade version and Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge for the Xbox.

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Tropes:

  • The Ace: Nathan Zachary always pulls through, is an expert pilot and strategist, and just blows away everything in his path through sheer tactics and skill.
  • Action Hero: Nathan Zachary is all about violence when it comes to accomplishing his goals.
  • Adaptation Inspiration: While the original board game and the first video game had a relatively consistent technology level, the Xbox game, High Road to Revenge, takes the Diesel Punk vibe Up to Eleven with Spider Mechs, giant flying fortresses capable of eating entire zeppelins and Tesla weapons. By comparison, in the board game, Nikola Tesla is said to be working on a new type of engine, but he doesn't have a working prototype yet.
  • All There in the Manual: There is a series of books and an official website that can give you much more in-depth background information about the setting.
    • Not much is told about Lucas Miles, the PC game's Big Bad, in the game itself. The story of his feud with the Fortune Hunters and apparent demise is told in the novels and in a Radio Drama that plays during the game's installation, although said installation is usually completed before the story is over. The full clip can be found on YouTube.
  • Anti-Air: Anti-aircraft guns on the ground and on zeppelins.
  • Alternate History: The whole premise, with the games being set in alternate Diesel Punk 1930s in a Divided States of America.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Die Spinne are German Fascists in the 1930s. Please don't work too hard to hide the obvious. The first game actually had Nazis when a giant Airship with the Swastika comes to raid New York.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Some zeppelins have broadside cannon ports. When these ports are open and shot at, they will cause entire sections of the zeppelin to explode. Which makes sense, considering that the ammo racks are probably very close by to facilitate rapid loading.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Aerial torpedoes. A single missile able to take out an entire section of a zeppelin is on the fast track to cool, but they have several problems including being so slow they can be shot apart by enemies, a minimum deployment range and lack of a guidance system that makes them hard to aim, most missions not requiring a zeppelin to be destroyed, the method of firing at open broadside cannon ports being arguably easier, and the fact that you can't have many of them with you.
    • The Beeper-seeker missiles in single player. It's basically a guided missile system in which you first have to fire the tracking "beeper" at your target then fire the guided "seeker" missile, guided by a signal from the beeper. Despite how awesome the idea of a guided missile is, ditching the non-damaging beeper in favor of a high-explosive rocket is often the better choice.
  • Bad Ass: Nathan Zachary
  • Badass Crew: The Fortune Hunters.
  • BFG: In a general sense, any gun above .50 caliber. However, High Road to Revenge features the Fw-206 Doppelganger, a single-engine aircraft equipped with a 75mm cannon adapted from a tank gun, touted as the largest gun ever fitted to a production aircraft. In Real Life, a number of aircraft on both sides of the war were fitted with tank guns, primarily for use in the ground-attack role. However, these were not terribly popular and all of them were large twin-engine aircraft, not a fighter-sized single-engine plane like the Doppelganger.
  • Bedmate Reveal: Played straight in the very beginning of High Road To Revenge with protagonist Nathan Zachary.
  • Betty and Veronica: In High Road to Revenge, Zachary is attracted both to Betty Charles and Maria Sanchez.
  • Big Applesauce: the final showdown between Nathan Zachary and Big Bad Lucas Miles in the PC game takes place over New York City.
  • Bigger Stick: In the PC game, completing missions gave you money which you could use to upgrade your existing plane or buy a new one custom-built to your specifications. The end result is that you can build a plane that is capable of killing anything in the skies.
  • Break the Haughty: Act III in the PC game begins with Nathan Zachary overhearing a radio broadcast by Johnny Johnson claiming that the Nation of Hollywood is safe from pirate scum like Zachery. Johnson goes on to verbally pat himself on the back for a minute or so prompting Zachary, who has a history with Johnson, to turn of the radio and mutter that someone needs to take the arrogant SOB down a peg or two. The next few missions consist of you doing just that.
  • Butt Monkey: Ace Dixon from the Computer game. You will shoot him down no less than four times, and he will scream and holler hilariously over the radios at you.
    Ace Dixon: NOOO! Not again! NOT BLOODY AGAAAAAAIN!"
  • Canon Foreigner: The Big Bad of High Road to Revenge, Dr. Nicolas Van Essen, as well as his organization, Die Spinne, are never mentioned in the board game or the novels.
  • Could Have Been Messy: Unless they crash or were shot down close to the ground, pilots will always bail out to safety and deploy their parachute once they're going down.
  • Cool Airship: The Pandora, mobile home base of the Fortune Hunters.
  • Cool Plane: The standard issue, default designs are pretty dull, but you can customize their appearance to invoke this.
  • Diesel Punk: Of the highest order (in keeping with the source material). Art Deco prop planes and zeppelins mix it up with guided missiles and Tesla weapons.
  • Enemy Chatter: enemy pirates, militia planes, zeppelins, ground forces and naval forces will taunt you over the radio, talk to each other, etc..
  • Femme Fatale: Justine of the Medusas and the Black Swan in the PC game. Maria Sanchez in the Xbox game.
  • Flying Aircraft Carrier:
    • Not exactly an aircraft carrier in the traditional sense, but many Zeppelins do hold complements of airplanes.
    • Said airplanes are deployed and retrieved on a trapeze hook, a very real technique for operating aircraft from zeppelins.
  • Friendly Enemy: When Johnny Johnson puts a bounty on Nathan's head after the obstacle race, the Black Swan and Loyle "Show Stopper" Crawford immediately reject the offer and come to Nathan's help. Both of them also help the Fortune Hunters at various points during the course of the story, both on and off screen. By the end of the game, Nathan and Paladin Blake have developed this kind of relationship as well.
  • Foreshadowing: In the PC game, after stealing the "Spruce Goose" plane, the Fortune Hunters arrange to sell it through a fence. While the transaction happens off screen, the player can read a message from the fence warning the plane was bought by some very shady men who paid with German gold. Guess who's doing business with the Reich? Yep, the game's Big Bad.
  • Hero Killer: Inverted. The Blake Aviation Security firm preps to go on a pirate hunting mission with their new zeppelin, but it gets destroyed by the player in one mission, and in yet another mission you have to rescue BAS zeppelins from another band of pirates. The rest of the anti-pirate forces in the game suffer equally embarrassing losses against the very people they were hired to take down; the Hollywood Knights are beaten on their own soil.
  • Herr Doktor: Dr. Fassenbiender in the PC game. In High Road to Revenge both Fassenbiender and Dr. Von Essen.
  • High-Altitude Battle: What do you expect? It is an aerial combat flight simulator series.
  • Hired Guns: Blake Aviation Security.
  • Immune to Bullets: Of all things, zepplins. This is surprisingly realistic, since many of the airships of the time were either helium-filled or using a hydrogen/helium double-cell system, and even pure-hydrogen rigid-frame zeppelins are surprisingly hard to ignite without incendiary/explosive rounds. Rockets, on the other hand . . .
  • Kaizo Trap: In the PC game you can crash during the final mission after having achieved the victory conditions, and yes, you will have to replay the entire damn mission again.
  • Lethal Joke Plane: The Balmoral Bomber from the PC game is slow, clumsy and generally the absolute last choice for a multiplayer dogfight (see Mighty Glacier below). However, there's a couple of ways to customize it into a shockingly lethal gun platform.
  • Lightning Gun: the bad guys in High Road to Revenge have them.
  • Lovable Rogue: Nathan Zachary and to an extent the rest of the Fortune Hunters.
  • Mega-Maw Maneuver: One level of Highroad to Revenge has a giant zep designed to eat other zeps.
  • Men of Sherwood: When you have wingmen (and in some missions, pilots from non-Fortune Hunter factions), they perform quite well. Obviously It's Up to You like most games, but they have excellent staying power and will almost always take out a few planes for you.
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • The British Balmoral.
    • The Doppelganger from High Road to Revenge is one of the slowest planes out there, but it can take a beating and has a tank cannon for its secondary weapon.
  • Neighborhood Friendly Sky Pirates: The Fortune Hunters are criminals, but their criminals acts are not necessarily as terroristic or harmful as they could be, and they actually do a handful of good things in the story, culminating in them saving New York City from the corrupt security firm Sacred Trust.
  • Never Found the Body: Lucas Miles is last seen crashing in the river, while laughing maniacally. After the mission the player can read an excerpt from the police report stating that no body could be recovered.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: In High Road to Revenge, the "Die" of Die Spinne is often pronounced like "dye", while the correct German pronunciation is actually "dee". Fortunately German characters such as Von Essen at least pronounce it correctly.
  • Pirate Booty: the first few missions of the PC game centered around Nathan Zachary retrieving the lost treasure ship of Sir Francis Drakewhich is inexplicably in Hawaii.
  • Point Defenseless: Inverted. Zeppelin turrets can brutalize the player if they are careless.
  • Red Shirt Air Force: Most enemy planes go down pretty quickly if you're a decent player. To the Mook Mobile!
  • Rule of Cool: This is practically the soul of the series and the only reason we have things like zeppelins designed to eat other zeppelins, Humongous Mecha Spider Tanks, planes armed with lightning guns and last but not least a weather control device.
  • Schizo Tech: Especially in the Xbox game (see Adaptation Inspiration above): you get remote-controlled rocket launchers, magnetic rockets and a Tesla coil-like weapons.
  • Simple Yet Awesome: High Explosive rockets. They produce a pretty purple-colored explosion that can take out just about anything in 1 or 2 hits.
  • Shock and Awe: Die Spinne's Piranha fighter, armed with a pair of lightning cannons. It's always satisfying to watch your opponent's shorted-out plane spin into a cliff.
  • Sky Pirate: The Fortune Hunters and Black Hats are only two of the many air pirate gangs roaming America.
  • Spider Tank: Die Spinne makes use of giant, six legged machines with massive flamethrowers.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Subverted in the PC game. In the last mission, Lucas Miles intends to kill Hollywood star Lana Cooper as revenge against Zachary. It fails, because his victim proves to be more than able to defend herself.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: The antagonist of the High Road to Revenge invokes this trope with a metal flame-throwing worm-shaped vehicle and spider tanks that are powered by "Tesla energy cells".
  • Villain Protagonist: Nathan Zachary is dashing and cool, but that still doesn't change the fact that he leads a band of criminals in violent crimes. He lightens up a bit, though.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Big Bad air pirate Lucas Miles hides his operations behind a well-known private security firm: Sacred Trust Incorporated.
  • Weather-Control Machine: One of Die Spinne's superweapons. It's mounted on one really, really big zeppelin battleship.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the novels and PC game, the Fortune Hunters gang has the following members: Nathan Zachary, Jack Mulligan, Big John, Buck, Tex, Sparks, and Betty as the newest recruit, as well as Dr. Wilhelm Fassenbiender and his daughter Ilse who join the crew during the course of the video game. In the Xbox version, however, only Zachary, Big John, Betty and Dr. Fassenbiender appear, and the others are never even mentioned although unidentified crew members can be spotted inside the Pandora.
  • Wretched Hive:
    • Arixo, a desert nation-state formed from the remnants of Arizona and New Mexico. Its vast desolate and lawless expanses makes it a natural haven for bandit activity.
    • The pirate kingdom of Free Colorado.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: Somewhat appropriate considering the time period of the setting, but they were used far more than in real life.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/CrimsonSkies