->''"Somewhere in the Southwest..."''

->''"It is 1976. A different 1976..."''

->''"''Never'' get out of the car."''

''Interstate '76'' is a VehicularCombat simulation developed and published by Activision in 1997. It used the same graphics engine as an earlier Activision title, ''VideoGame/MechWarrior231stCenturyCombat''; when they finished that game, the team started to wonder what else they could do with the engine. Set in the American Southwest during the oil crisis of TheSeventies, the game puts you in the bellbottoms, tinted aviators and blonde handlebar mustache of one [[AwesomeMcCoolname Groove Champion]], son of a two-time stock car championship driver and a former Miss America.

[[ScreeningTheCall Groove never wanted to be a hero.]] He just wanted to race, but even in that, he lived in the shadow of his sister Jade, who is more or less described as Daisy Duke with a set of [[VideoGame/DukeNukem steel spheres]]. That is, [[PosthumousCharacter until Jade was murdered in a junkyard]] outside Lubbock, Texas. Taurus, certified [[AfroAsskicker afro-sporting]] badass and Jade's former teammate, introduces Groove to the secret life his sister led as an [[VigilanteMan auto-vigilante]] and takes him under his wing as Groove sets out to [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge find his sister's killer and avenge her death.]]

Sound like a standard old-school action film to you? [[{{Troperiffic}} Well, that's because it is.]] The whole game is presented in the style of a [[TheSeventies '70s-era]] action TV series, replete with [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed made-up actor names]] arrayed over a {{Montage}} intro, a ''Series/CharliesAngels''-inspired logo and [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic one hell of a funkalicious soundtrack]] (which, bizarrely enough, was composed by Arion Salazar, longtime bassist for Music/ThirdEyeBlind).

The game billed itself as an auto-combat ''simulator,'' and it went long way towards living up to that claim. The game featured a range of authentically-rendered seventies-era American vehicles ([[BlandNameProduct fictionalized names notwithstanding]]), with all the associated roaring engines, fishtailing, and cornering like a garbage barge involved. It also had an intricate location-based damage system (borrowed from ''VideoGame/MechWarrior'') and you had to salvage weapons and car parts from the field between missions.

Later received a stand-alone expansion called the Nitro Pack, which introduced a series of interconnected missions that took place over the course of several years leading up to the events of the original game, new cars, new weapons and new environments, as well as a [[spoiler: secret playable villain]].

All that changed in the sequel, ''Interstate '82''. It had a new setting in TheEighties, a soundtrack by Devo, and featured the original cast plus newcomer Skye Champion, but did away with the location-based damage, realistic physics, salvage system and allowed you to leave the car, making for a much more arcade-ish experience overall. Suffered from a massive degree of TheyChangedItNowItSucks, which spelled the end of the series. [[GameMod Officially, at any rate.]]

See also ''VideoGame/{{Vigilante 8}}'', a SpiritualSuccessor (that was arcade-ish from the start) also by Activision.

!!'''Interstate '76 provides groovy examples of:'''

* AbnormalAmmo: Mostly {{averted|Trope}}, no [[EnergyWeapon lasers]] here folks. Not until the sequel, anyway. However, in addition to landmines, {{oil slick}}s and ''napalm'', one of the available droppables is ''cinderblocks''. Unique in that they deal damage directly to a car's chassis rather then its armor.
* AccidentalMisnaming: Taurus is getting pretty sick of being called "Mr. Tortoise."
* TheAllegedCar: The AMC Gremlin (ABX Leprechaun) and Ford Pinto (Phaedra Pony) are both available to the player, and [[CannonFodder highly expendable]].
* AllThereInTheManual: And there's quite a bit in there, at that. It is framed ingeniously as the official manual of the Auto Vigilante's Guild of America (or [[FunWithAcronyms AVGA for short]]) and contains not only technical readouts on every car and weapon in the game, but also notes from Jade including exposition, character profiles, hints and tips and maps of the early levels.
* AlternateHistory: It's the gas crisis in TheSeventies, [[CrapsackWorld only things are so bad]] that the criminals are using {{Weaponized Car}}s to raid gas stations for fuel, and the cops [[PoliceAreUseless can't]] or [[DirtyCop won't]] give a damn. [[VigilanteMan So ordinary folks must take matters into their own hands.]]
* AncestralWeapon: Groove inherits Jade's screaming orange 1970 [[BlandNameProduct Picard Piranha]]. Qualifies as a CoolCar what with Jade's aftermarket modifications and... well, [[WeaponizedCar it has guns on it]].
* ArtificialStupidity: High framerates (caused by modern hardware) break the game's singleplayer AI, causing them to violently swing their steering wheels back and forth every frame and drive at 10kph.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Groove witnesses a UFO crash near Roswell... in 1976. In reality, the famous crash happened in 1947, whatever it was that actually crashed.
* BadassCrew: Mess with Groove, Taurus, or Skeeter, and the [[TrueCompanions other two will make sure]] you'll end up looking like a [[EveryCarIsAPinto Pinto]] after TheWarSequence.
* BadassDriver: ''Everybody.''
* BadassMoustache: Groove rocks TheGunslinger look. Malochio's might count, though his is closer to [[Series/{{Jeopardy}} Alex Trebek]].
* BattleCouple: It's heavily implied that there was something between Jade and Taurus. This is as much about revenge for him as it is for Groove.
* BigBad: Antonio Malochio, shady businessman, [[ProfessionalKiller hired gun]], and a ManOfWealthAndTaste. Goes by the CB Handle of "Chioto". [[spoiler: He intends to use an H-Bomb to blow up the West Texas oil reserves. His employer? [[ArabOilSheikh OPEC.]]]]
--> [[spoiler: '''Malochio:''' [[TheReveal Are you surprised?]]]]
* BigBrotherMentor: Taurus clearly has a soft spot for Groove, him being the little brother of his dead love. Even if he talks to him like Creator/SamuelLJackson [[ClusterFBomb on a bad day]].
* BlandNameProduct: The names they have are rather amusing, such as Courcheval in place of Chevrolet, Phaedra for Ford, Dover instead of Dodge and so on. This also extends to gas stations such as [=Gas4Cash=] and Gas Parade, as well as Fletcher & Sons self-storage, Red Deacon fireworks and Fasty-Freeze ice cream.
* BondOneLiner: Groove sometimes utters a pithy quip upon destroying an enemy car. This also happens in the Nitro Pack with Taurus, Jade and Skeeter. See the DeadpanSnarker entry for a pair of examples.
* BottomlessMagazines: [[AvertedTrope Almost totally averted.]] You have a limited supply of ammo for each weapon at the start of each mission and no way to acquire more. Run out mid-mission, and you're ''hosed''.
** Your .45 sidearm will never run out, but good luck using it to take out an enemy that isn't already spewing smoke.
* BriefcaseFullOfMoney: A minor MacGuffin early in the game, critical to the BigBad's plot. The theft of said briefcase by our heroes from the bad guys results in a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown on Taurus.
* ButThouMust: But as Taurus says, "if you don't like it, you can walk the hell back to whatever it is you call a life."
* CallForward:
--> '''Taurus:''' Damn, I'm so good they should name a car after me.
* CampGay: Auto-Vigilante [[JustForPun Inferno]], who talks in a falsetto voice (like a SassyBlackWoman) and drives a car with a cool flaming paint-job that's armed with a [[OverlyLongGag flamethrower]]. Groove mistakes him for a creeper (to be fair, he's the ''only'' friendly character in the game besides Groove and company) and is mistaken in turn for his sister (understandable, he's driving her car). After that's cleared up, Inferno alerts Groove to the existence of [[TheDragon Cloaker]].
* CaptainObvious: Taurus informs Groove that Fort Davis is in fact an old fort and not a town- while Groove is looking at it through binoculars. Groove's sort of spaced at the time. "Yes. Yes it is."
* CherryTapping: It's possible to kill an enemy driver by shooting a .45 pistol out your window. Doing so ensures better salvage after the mission, but generally only works when the enemy car already has low armor. [[BoomHeadshot If it works, the car grinds to a halt and its horn sounds, presumably from the driver's head hitting the steering wheel.]]
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Skeeter, although he occasionally says [[ObfuscatingStupidity some pretty deep shit]]. The second quote above is his CatchPhrase. Groove also exhibits this from time to time.
* ClusterFBomb: There's quite a bit of swearing in this T-rated game. No literal F-Bombs, but liberal applications of "damn" and "shit".
* CoolCar: The [[BlandNameProduct Picard Piranha]] you drive in the single player is a prime candidate. Virtually every car in this game is a WeaponizedCar and even the {{Mooks}} have custom rides, {{avert|edTrope}}ing MookMobile.
* CoolShades: Groove, Taurus and Malochio.
* CrapsackWorld: "The economy is in the throes of a deep recession. [[PowderKegCrowd Flames of riot rule the cities.]] Gas is expensive and scarce. Crime is rampant. [[BystanderSyndrome No one seems to care.]] [[WhoYouGonnaCall This is a time for Vigilantes.]]"
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Skeeter, who is actually a competent driver and auto-combatant. He is also a complete [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} space cadet]] and possibly narcoleptic.
* CupHolders: An optional extra. [[TruthInTelevision Stated in the manual to eliminate the annoyance of having to hold your drink in one hand while you drive.]] Actually does confer an in-game benefit in that it protects you from other players' sidearms in multiplayer.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: In the manual, it's mentioned that Taurus once lived in New England with a wife and daughter, both of whom were killed by criminals. He came to the desert to clear his head and never left. [[BerserkButton Don't ever bring it up.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Groove is a ''motherlode'' of snark. Listen to him carefully whenever he defeats a creeper. Particularly the corrupt cops: ''"I've been drinking! I'VE BEEN DRINKING!"'' and ''"Do you know how fast you were going?"'' are but the tip of the iceberg.
* DirtyCop: Pretty much every cop in the Southwest is on Malochio's payroll from the State Troopers on down. They are [[EliteMooks pretty heavily armed, being cops]]. The ones that aren't are implied to be apathetic, and they never show up at all.
* TheDragon: Auto-Mercenary Cloaker, who speaks with [[EvilSoundsDeep a smooth, deep voice]] and drives a blue longnose semi.
* DreamSequence: Groove has one in which he races against the autovillain [[CaptainGeographic Patriot]] and his two goons, [[AffablyEvil Road Knight]] and Gas Bandit. If he wins the race, the three turn on him, forcing the player to fight them all at once. Once defeated, Groove wakes up to find he apparently was having a nightmare.
--> '''Groove''': Wow. Weird dream...
** It's later revealed that [[DeadAllAlong Patriot was killed by Jade years ago]]. Sharp-eyed players will notice that his name appears next to a picture of the model of car he drives in Jade's old AVG notebook, and it's been crossed out.
* EveryCarIsAPinto: Full stop. Watch out, the resulting debris and flames can damage your car.
** Amusingly enough, you can actually drive a Pinto in this game, in the guise of the Phaedra Pony... [[TheAllegedCar and it's an absolute piece of crap]]. To reinforce this, a lot of {{Mooks}} in the early levels drive these. No such luck later. Can result in CherryTapping if you use one successfully in multiplayer.
* EverythingIsBigInTexas: [[OnceUponATime "Somewhere in the Southwest..."]] You do briefly cross over into New Mexico, but soon return.
* FunWithAcronyms: In addition to the AVGA above, the menu refers to the campaign as the TRIP, or Total Recreational Interactive Production. Multiplayer and Instant Action modes are "other stuff that's not the TRIP."
* UsefulNotes/GeraldFord: He's mentioned briefly during an in game radio broadcast as taking part in Bicentennial celebrations.
* GlassCannon: It's fairly easy to create one of these in multiplayer by strapping a very large gun onto a very small car.
* GuideDangIt: The levels in this game are quite large, and you must navigate them with a compass, landmarks and hastily-scribbled maps made by Groove. The sequel averts this, with a digital map and indicators showing where your car is and where you must go.
* GreaseMonkey: Skeeter.
--> '''Taurus''': He fixes the cars.
* HaveANiceDeath: The game never lets you live it down if you fail in any way. "You should try to stay alive". "The warehouse was destroyed. And it's all your fault."
* HumongousMecha: As a nod to the [[VideoGame/MechWarrior preceding game]], the characters stop at a diner whose sign/mascot is a giant Seventies-style robot. Skeeter seems fascinated by it.
* ICallItVera: Taurus calls his car "Eloise". It's a reference to the bull horns on the hood or something.
** Probably a BlandNameProduct reference to Elsie the Cow, longtime mascot of Borden Dairy.
* IdiosyncraticDifficultyLevels: The three difficult levels are named Wimp, Champ and Badass.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: At the very end of the game, [[spoiler: Jade's Piranha is totaled, and Malochio offers you a selection of vehicles he has on hand for the duel against him. Among your options is a [[FragileSpeedster fragile U.S. Mail jeep]]. You might think to take [[TankGoodness the tank...]] but the jeep carries the Cherub missile launcher, the only time in the campaign where it is available. [[OneHitKill It destroys any car with a single shot.]]]]
* ItNeverGetsAnyEasier: "It's not all that easy, is it? Killing people."
* IronicEcho: This exchange is more poignant if you've played the Nitro Pack.
--> '''Skeeter''': Jade, she built a good car.\\
'''Groove''': Yeah.\\
'''Skeeter''': But she got ''out''.\\
'''Groove''': What?\\
'''Skeeter''': [[ArcWords Never get outta the car.]]
* JiveTurkey: Auto-Mercenary Disco Kat oozes this trope. Surprisingly, {{averted|Trope}} in the case of Taurus, making him less of a SoulBrotha and more of a regular ScaryBlackMan. He can get a bit sassy at times, but doesn't use much slang.
* KillItWithFire: There are flamethrowers available, [[VideogameFlamethrowersSuck but their short range limits their usefulness]] (and, if playing through [=DOSBox=], it's entirely possible they won't work ''at all''). The napalm dropper weapon, however, is very effective at outright destroying pursuing Mooks, where oil slicks and landmines tend to simply knock them off course.
* LampshadeHanging: The following exchange lampshades ''the entire game.''
-->'''Groove''': I dunno man, this whole thing feels like a movie.\\
'''Taurus''': I ''hate'' movies.
** With one exception, as revealed in the Nitro Pack: ''[[spoiler:Film/LoveStory]]''.
* {{Leitmotif}}: If you hear a low, funky bass riff, chances are Malochio is about to make an appearance.
* LethalJokeCharacter / KillerRabbit: See the InfinityPlusOneSword entry, above.
* LetsGetDangerous: About halfway though the game, after the NoHoldsBarredBeatdown on Taurus, Groove decides enough is enough and starts taking things more seriously.
* MaximumFunChamber: Skeeter's van, when used to question a captured Auto-Mercenary. We never see what makes those odd noises, nor what finally scares the prisoner into talking.
* {{Mooks}}: The various Auto-Mercenaries, regular bad guys who took to their cars and now work for Malochio. Referred to as "creepers" by the vigilantes.
* MoreDakka: Some cars have more weapon mounts then others. The Courcheval Manta, for instance, has two forward mounts and two on top, making it possible to have four fire-linked machine guns or [[MoreDakka automatic cannons.]] One of which can be ''[[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill turreted]].'' Best of all? All [[GatlingGood can be 7.62mm miniguns with the absolute highest fire rate in the game]].
* MrFixit: Skeeter can work miracles with automotive technology.
* NewOldWest: A lawless desert wilderness, with quick-shooting cowboys, bandits, corrupt lawmen in the employ of scheming industrialists... oh, and muscle cars.
* NightmareSequence: There are a handful of odd {{cutscene}}s wherein [[spoiler: Malochio]] does some off-screen JustBetweenYouAndMe with the VoiceOfTheLegion, with a nondescript reddish vortex for a background. It's unclear whether this is actually Groove dreaming, or it's [[spoiler: Malochio]] {{expositi|onFairy}}ng [[BreakingTheFourthWall directly at the player]], as there's some details mentioned that Groove [[MindScrew couldn't possibly know for fact, and yet are]]. And then of course, there's the entire business with [[DeadAllAlong Patriot]]...
* NitroBoost: An optional extra, but a must for one mission in which you must jump a particularly wide chasm. [[RampJump There is a ramp to help you.]]
* NoFairCheating: The game actually has a built-in cheat menu with options such as [[GodMode invulnerability]] and [[BottomlessMagazines unlimited ammo]], but using any of these besides the "arcade physics" (makes your car immediately flip over if you land on your roof, instead of blowing up) option prevents you from progressing through the campaign.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: Taurus suffers this at the hands of Malochio's goons. Groove saves him from suffering MentorOccupationalHazard (pulling his almost-lifeless body from his bullet-ridden wreck of a Jefferson Sovereign), but he loses his car and is forced to ride with Skeeter in the van for the rest of the game. [[ItsUpToYou You are basically on your own from then on.]]
* NonstandardGameOver: Unlike ''[=MechWarrior=] 2'', where you could stomp off the edge of the map into infinity, in this game if you drive down a road off the map too far, Groove will remark that he isn't heading the right way. If you keep going, the mission ends with Groove driving off into the distance thinking aloud that he'd like a popsicle or Taurus [[WhatTheHellHero asking him where the hell he's going]].
* OilSlick: Your starting "dropper" weapon.
* OnlyInItForTheMoney: Malochio's motivation.
-->'''Groove''': Why?\\
'''Malochio''': ''Muh-ney''. They pay me well, young Champion.
* PlotTriggeringDeath: Jade.
* RammingAlwaysWorks: Well, sure. But it won't do your chassis reinforcement any favors.
* TheSeventies
* ScaryBlackMan: Taurus. Initially, anyway. You'll come to like the guy.
* SociopathicSoldier: It's noted in the manual that Malochio served two tours of duty in UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar, the second one voluntary because he ''liked'' what was going on over there.
* TankGoodness: You ''can'' use a tank, and it obviously has the best armor in the game, but it's also quite [[MightyGlacier ponderous]] and hard to see out of.
* TechnoBabble: Skeeter, while attempting to explain nuclear fusion to Groove.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: [[spoiler: When Groove finally takes his revenge on a trapped Malochio, he does it point-blank with his .45 pistol... ''thirteen times''.]] Of course, it's possible it's the same couple of shots, just replayed from a different angle to up the satisfaction.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: Groove witnesses the Roswell crash.
-->'''Taurus''': What was that?!\\
'''Groove''': ''(offhand)'' Flying saucer.\\
'''Taurus''': ''(calm)'' Oh.
* VehicularCombat: This is why you were invited to the shindig.
* VideoWills: The training mission features an audio tape made by Jade, to be played in the event of her death. She bequeaths her car to her brother, tells him the basics of car combat, and [[TearJerker says her goodbyes]].
* VigilanteMan: Groove, Taurus, Skeeter and any good character in the whole series. It is implied in the intro that there used to be a lot more of them around, before Malochio started assembling his army of Auto-Mercenaries and deliberately hunted them all down. As Taurus says, [[EverybodysDeadDave "We're the only ones left to hold back a world of shit!"]] Referred to as "Cowboys" by the Autovillains.
* VillainousBreakdown: [[spoiler: Malochio's cool demeanor cracks when Groove challenges him to a duel, and is entirely gone by the end cutscene, in which he cravenly begs for his life.]]
* VoiceWithAnInternetConnection: Many characters, primarily Taurus. However, since this is TheSeventies, it's not high-speed internet but good old Citizen's Band Radio. Everyone has a callsign, Groove is "Swinger", Skeeter is [[MeaningfulName "Monkeywrench"]] and Taurus is [[JustForPun "Stampede"]]. Jade went by the callsign "Vixen" before she was killed.
* WarriorPoet: Taurus spouts some soothing verse at a mere keystroke. Even when [[spoiler:he's unconscious and near death with a bullet in him.]]
* WeaponizedCar: [[CaptainObvious Well, duh.]]

!!'''The expansion provides [[JustForPun Nitro-Packed]] examples of:'''

* AnachronicOrder: Each mission is dated in its introduction, but they are not presented in any particular order and do not need to be played as such.
* AxCrazy: Most of the creepers in this game are less straight-up evil then [[PsychoForHire batshit insane]]. Skeeter exhibits some of this in his {{Bond One Liner}}s. As his description in the character select menu says, "Should be medicated... but isn't."
* CallForward: The TV show-styled opening begins a scene straight from the original game's introduction, of Taurus sliding/crashing his car through a gate and firing his pistol out the window.
* CatchPhrase: Skeeter utters his at least twice, both times to his teammates who have already done so or may do so. Also sort of a FunnyAneurysmMoment when he says this to Jade.
-->'''Skeeter''': You got out.\\
'''Taurus''': Come again?\\
'''Skeeter''': [[ArcWords Never get outta the car.]]
* CoolCar: In the original game, you are restricted to Jade's [[BlandNameProduct Picard Piranha]] for most of the game. There is no such restriction here, you may use any car, weapon and specials you want.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Taurus assassinates one of these in one mission. He apparently uses autovillains to do his dirty work.
* DirtyCop: The cops don't do anything positive in this game. They split their time between guarding the CorruptCorporateExecutive, participating in drug deals, and generally just making life a living hell for the vigilantes.
* TheDragon: Disco Kat is this to Natty Dread, in his canonical first appearance.
* DragonTheirFeet: Disco Kat [[spoiler: conveniently avoids meeting the same demise as Natty Dread and the lesser Voodoo Riders at the hands of Skeeter]], going on to become a high-ranking member of Malochio's goon squad.
* EvilArmy: Several missions pit the vigilantes against US Army forces in armed Jeeps, referred to as [[Film/FullMetalJacket Gomers]]. Something is also implied to be "going down" with the army, evidenced by the presence of a military quarantine in one mission being some sort of front. This is not further explored, [[WildMassGuessing but it might have to do]] with the [[KillSat LARS superweapon]] in the sequel.
* FaceHeelTurn: An unseen Auto-Vigilante called [[MeaningfulName Crucifier]] apparently sells out a Vigilante convoy in one mission.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Many missions seem to portray the dwindling power of the vigilantes and the rising strength of autovillains, who are apparently being recruited for some sort of army. In particular, the mission "Two Days Before" (which quite literally takes place two days before the original game) involves a raid on a munitions dump strongly implied to have been owned by Antonio Malochio.
* FunnyAfro: Though rarely referenced in the original game, several characters make fun of Taurus' afro in this game.
* JustForPun: One auto-vigilante goes by the CodeName "Hell Toupee."
* [[MissionPackSequel Mission Pack Prequel]]: Marketed as a stand-alone expansion pack for the original game.
* NotQuiteDead: Several Autovillains in this game are implied to have had previous entanglements with the protagonists, often resulting in their apparent deaths. In addition, [[spoiler: one Natty Dread mission involves hunting down and apparently killing Taurus, who appears in the end CutScene of the mission to announce he's still alive.]]
* {{Oireland}}: The [[KilledMidSentence short-lived]] Auto-Vigilante Four-Banger sounds like he's from Ireland.
* ScaryBlackMan: Autovillain Natty Dread, leader of the Voodoo Riders gang.
* SecretCharacter: [[spoiler:Natty Dread, unlocked by completing all of the other missions. His ride of choice is apparently a Jaguar.]]
* SinisterMinister: Autovillain Preacher. He and his goons are found terrorizing the defenseless town of Claremont in the mission "Peace Be With You." Spouts [[Literature/TheBible bibilical verse]]. Said to have murdered his own family. May be BackFromTheDead.
* SlippySlideyIceWorld: Subverted. The game features some snow levels, but they don't appear to make your traction any worse.
* VillainousHarlequin: Autovillain Drinky, replete with armed Clown Car. Taurus races him with the prize being a pile of guns. When Taurus wins, Drinky tries to beat a hasty retreat. Taurus isn't happy about that.
* ViolentGlaswegian: Auto-Vigilante Radiator Mother. He's pretty friendly to other vigilantes though.

!!'''The sequel provides examples of:'''

* AbnormalAmmo: The sequel gives us [[{{Pun}} Karpoons]], car-mounted harpoon launchers that have various effects on enemy vehicles. One fries their electronics and shuts off their car, while another fills the interior with gas, forcing them to exit the vehicle.
* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: Also without a doubt the game's "ThatOneLevel". Features federal Agents who have been convinced that our heroes are a bunch of DirtyCommunists.
* TheAlcoholic: Groove has become this in the years since the first game.
* AngryBlackMan: Taurus' temper flares a lot in this game.
* {{Area 51}}: Called Area 49 in-game, the approach to the site is ripped straight from the Death Star Trench Run in the original ''Franchise/StarWars'', complete with an unnamed, gravely-voiced Autovillain who has VaderBreath. Area 49's FinalBoss is a twin-rotor helicopter disguised as a flying saucer.
* BluntMetaphorsTrauma: Hinckley is a bit of a {{Cloudcuckoolander}}, and talks a bit like Creator/ChristopherWalken.
* {{Bookends}}: What happens in Vegas...
* CoolCar: This goes for the whole series, but this game features some real greats, like the famous 1940 Ford Pickup.
* ChainsawGood: You can equip battery-operated rotary saw blades to the front of your car. They mince anything you hit pretty good, and are a tremendous step up from the game's only other "melee" weapon, a reinforced bumper.
* ChekhovsGun: Take note of that big statue outside the Robot Robot Hotel.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Taurus again. The first time we see him, it's a nightmare about Jade's death, [[ContinuityNod echoing the first game's intro]]. He lets out a BigNo and then [[CatapultNightmare leaps awake]].
* DirtyCop: They work for [[spoiler:PresidentEvil]], so it's to be expected. [[EliteMooks They are still some of the game's tougher foes.]]
* TheDragon: John Hinckley, Jr. If you know your history, this ''may'' provide you with a clue as to [[spoiler:who the BigBad is]].
* TheEighties: Well, duh.
* FemmeFatale: Autovillain Solarzano, who serves as the most visible antagonist for much of the game.
* ForTheEvulz: It's not really clear what the BigBad is trying to do [[OnlyInItForTheMoney beyond make a lot of money]].
* FrickinLaserBeams: The game adds continuous-fire laser cannons as equipped weapons. They are devastating, but you can equip a special shield that prevents all EnergyWeapon damage, rendering the lasers and even the LARS KillSat useless against you. Both have regenerating ammunition, the only weapons in the game to do so.
* GatlingGood: Absent from the first game, but the larger of this game's two basic guns is this.
* GoshDangItToHeck: The pseudo-swearing in this game may seem a bit odd compared to its predecessor. As it turns out, [[DummiedOut the original dialogue]] [[{{Bowdlerise}} was much cruder]]. Applying the optional "language patch" turns the whole damn game into one big incredibly vicious ClusterFBomb.
* GovernmentConspiracy:
--> We whack 'em! Eliminate 'em! Just like we did with Mama Cass! Big woman!
* GreaseMonkey: It just wouldn't be the same without good ole' Skeeter. He's traded in his Dodge Van for a 1940 pickup and comes off as more as more of just a dumb hick then a CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass, but he still fixes the cars and can fight as well as anybody else. Think ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'''s Ellis plus about ten years.
* GroinAttack: Solarzano comes ''damn'' close to shooting Groove in a bad place.
* IronicEcho: [[spoiler:Skye gets shot by Solarzano in the same spot, the upper chest opposite the heart, as Jade. She survives, however.]]
* HumongousMecha: [[spoiler:See that ChekhovsGun entry up there? Well, it's the FinalBoss. And it's piloted by [[PresidentEvil Ronald Reagan)]].]]
* HurricaneOfPuns: Taurus and Rank Dick engage in one just before they battle which takes place at the bottom of a mine with Rank Dick driving a drilling machine.
-->'''Rank Dick''': Hidey-ho there, ''Chuck''. A ''bit'' of news. Your groovy friend is in here with me, but he's become quite a ''bore''. Here's the ''drill'', mate. I'm gonna fill you full of holes. You'll get ''shafted''! Can you ''dig'' it? You'll become ''mole'' than useless living on ''burrowed'' time!
-->'''Taurus''': Shut your chasm, Dick! It's about time I ''fill'' you in!
* KillSat: LARS, an orbital laser cannon that was apparently an outgrowth of the Strategic Defense Initiative, popularly known as "Franchise/StarWars." In multiplayer, an uplink dish can be equipped on the roof of your car, essentially precluding you from mounting any other roof weapons but enabling you to summon LARS at will.
* LampshadeHanging: Taurus comments on how one level is suspiciously similar to [[Franchise/StarWars a scene from a popular science-fiction movie]]:
-->''"This kinda reminds me of the trench run at the Death Station in that movie '[[LawyerFriendlyCameo Space Wars]]'!"''
* LegacyCharacter: This game introduces Skye, youngest of the Champion siblings. She takes after Jade in many ways, though her hair and clothing are much more TheQuincyPunk. She even uses Jade's CodeName, "Vixen."
* LighterAndSofter: The tone of this game is decidedly less dark then the first game. Another possible cause of TheyChangedItNowItSucks.
* OhCrap: Turns out shooting [[spoiler: Rank Dick]] was a bad idea.
--> '''Groove''': Jesus christ, Taurus! Jesus Christ! You have no idea how bad that was!
* OutrunTheFireball: The escape from the abandoned mine.
* PreAsskickingOneLiner: Tired of being chased by creepers, [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Taurus delivers a truly epic speech culminating in the threat of him crushing their very souls with his bare hands.]] They promptly run away afterwards. As it turns out, they were made aware of LARS being deployed in the area and simply retreated. Doesn't make Taurus' speech any less epic though. Bonus points for when he tells [[spoiler: PresidentEvil]] that he's going to spank his white ass from here to the [[MonumentalDamage Washington Monument]].
* TheQuincyPunk: Skye, and also Autovillain Rank Dick. No, really, that's seriously his name.
* RetiredBadass: Taurus gave up this circus a long time ago. Skye drags him back to help look for Groove, who has gone missing at the beginning of the game.
* SecretPolice: The SSS, or [[FunWithAcronyms Super Secret Service]], though they are less this trope in-game than simple EliteMooks.
* ShutUpHannibal: Taurus is quite fed up with Rank Dick's [[{{Jerkass}} rampant uncouth behavior]].
* [[spoiler:PresidentEvil: Ronald Reagan as a {{Jerkass}} MotorMouth. He is implied to have had various important figures assassinated, including [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp Leonid Brezhnev]] and [[Music/TheBeatles John Lennon]]. Taurus non-fatally shooting him results in a hilarious, long-winded speech on his part. [[HistoricalInJoke The event is publicly blamed on John Hinckley Jr.]]]]
* UndergroundLevel: Taurus descends into an abandoned mine in search of Groove. This culminates in a fight against a giant drilling machine.
* VivaLasVegas: Where the game begins.