[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nws_medal_of_honor_logo.jpg]]

''Medal of Honor'' is a series of {{First Person Shooter}}s primarily set in WorldWarII, and is probably the seminal title of this particular genre. Named after the United States' [[BlingOfWar highest military decoration]]. [=MoH=] is known for a [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief deep level of immersion]], achieved by subjecting its design staff to actual military training, akin to the experiences of its inspiration, ''Film/SavingPrivateRyan''. Creator/StevenSpielberg served as director and producer of the first title.

In 2010, following the runaway success of the ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty: VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' series, the ''Medal of Honor'' series was rebooted and brought into a modern-day setting, with gameplay re-tooled to be closer to the style of ''Modern Warfare''. The new ''VideoGame/MedalOfHonor2010'' games distinguish themselves from the new ''Call of Duty'' games (as well as the newer ''Franchise/{{Battlefield}}'' games) in that the plot and atmosphere are intended to be much more "true to life", focusing on the Invasion of Afghanistan and later the War on Terror, without Hollywood embellishments such as runaway nukes or rogue Russian special forces divisions with genocidal ambitions.

!!Games in the original series
* ''Medal of Honor'' (1999)
* ''Medal of Honor: Underground''
* ''Medal of Honor: Allied Assault'' (add-ons ''Spearhead'' and ''Breakthrough'')
* ''Medal of Honor: Frontline''
* ''Medal of Honor: Rising Sun''
* ''Medal of Honor: Infiltrator''
* ''Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault''
* ''Medal of Honor: European Assault''
* ''Medal of Honor: Heroes'' and ''Heroes 2''
* ''Medal of Honor: Vanguard''
* ''Medal of Honor: Airborne''

Though notable in its own right, ''Medal of Honor'' is also known for having spawned Infinity Ward, who went on to make the more popular ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' series. A distinct difference between the two is its narrative focus:
* In ''Medal of Honor'', you often play as a pivotal American frontline soldier in a particular theater of battle. Though MoreDakka is generously provided, you often fight alone (main exceptions being ''Pacific Assault'' where you control a team of at least three allies, ''Airborne'' where you always have a few paratroopers on your side, although apparently they can run out, and the 2010 game, where most missions find you with at least 1 companion). In any case, most of the action serves to drive you from one iconic action scene to another. The series is noted for great realism and respect for real soldiers in real wars.
* In ''Call of Duty'', playership is usually divided between a number of nationals, and any number of compatriots fighting alongside you, with gameplay being heavily focused on squad-based combat. Though just as pivotal in terms of gameplay, more focus is put on your comrades and where you fit into this particular unit. The series, especially the later games, tends to have a far more "arcadey" feel to it, especially apparent in its somewhat bizarre ''VideoGame/NaziZombies'' survival game mode.
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!!This series contains examples of:
* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: The first game's third mission. [[JustifiedTrope Mind you,]] [[TruthInTelevision Germany and France did have such sewers]].
* ActionGirl: Manon in Underground.
* AirVentPassageway: ''Allied Assault's'' second mission had you crawling through the vents, subverted by the fact that when you get out, you're still inside the base you're escaping from. Rather notably, the Germans find out you're in there and actually try to follow you in.
** The hydroplant level in the first game had a part where an air vent was the only way to get into a room you had to get into, and if the Germans saw or heard you, they'd start pitching grenades in after you.
* AnyoneCanDie: In ''Allied Assault'', pretty much anyone can die. You can expect several of your squads to be reduced to nothing by the end of a mission, or that one guy who survived the last mission to be killed in this one. However, while some deaths are scripted and inevitable, some soldiers can be saved.
* ArtificialBrilliance[=/=]ArtificialStupidity: ''Medal of Honor'' is usually either praised for above-average AI or condemned for generally stupid AI. It's never in between. Though, Germans [[JumpingOnAGrenade will dive on top of your grenades]] to save their fellow soldiers.
** In the first game, [[GrenadeHotPotato they would sometimes kick it back at you. In the second, they could actually catch the things in midair and throw it back at you.]]
** You can have SO much fun with that too...
** The multiplayer 'bots in ''Rising Sun'' are some of the stupidest ever. If you pick any weapons choice that has bazookas, expect to see them inflict a lot of friendly fire casualties on one another as they all try to gang up on you at close range.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Sturmgeist in ''Frontline'' and the Nemesis Officers and Von Schrader in ''European Assault'' can all take significantly more damage that the basic {{Mooks}} under their command.
** The player characters themselves are usually officers in the Allied army and more often or not end up taking on the entire Axis by themselves.
* AttackAttackAttack: The player is tasked with holding off a full-scale German charge in the 6th level of ''Spearhead''.
* AwesomeButImpractical: Most machine guns have a load of bullets. But they also suffer from a long reload time, which can be bad if you're caught out in the open. Some guns are also really powerful, but are only available in select missions, or have extremely limited ammo. So sometimes you're just better off sticking to a BoringButPractical assault rifle.
* {{Badass}}:
** Jimmy Patterson. So badass that Nazi {{Mooks}} would address him by name. Hell, the German Army declared war on him! Just look at those wanted posters of him all over the place in ''Frontline''.
** In the last level of ''Underground'', the Nazi goons bring three tanks and two full squads to ambush [[ActionGirl Manon]] specifically because she's ''that'' much of a thorn in their side. Naturally, she won anyway.
* BagOfSpilling: Weapons do not carry over between major missions.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: On the Nijmegen Bridge level in Frontline, a German sniper will jump to his death from the top of the bridge rather than be shot by Jimmy.
* BigBad: Graf Von Schrader in ''European Assault''.
** Sturmgeist in ''Frontline''.
** BiggerBad: While never made ​​a true appearance in the game, Hitler himself can be seen like this.
* BigDamnHeroes: Lots of these moments are seen throughout the various games. Sometimes you're the hero, other times allies show up to help you fight off the enemy in the nick of time.
* BilingualBonus: The Nazis all speak and taunt in German, though a cheat in the first game caused them to speak in English. The cheat code itself lampshaded this.
** The enemies in Rising Sun and Pacific Assault mainly speak Japanese, for obvious reasons.
** ''Airborne'' has missions in Sicily and Italy.
* BlownAcrossTheRoom: Grenades (and large caliber bullets in the later games) caused flying bodies.
** Shooting someone in the face with a shotgun will make them flip head over heels. That alone makes using the shotgun a must.
* BoomHeadshot: Although it can be hard to do at times, this usually guarantees a 1 hit kill. For obvious reasons it's easier to do it with a scoped weapon.
* CheckPointStarvation: The first three installments that were released for the console had no in-level checkpoints. This was a major problem with the [[MarathonLevel longer levels]] in ''Frontline''. However, ''Allied Assault'' was based off the Quake 3 engine, and supported SaveScumming through quick save.
* CherubicChoir: The WW2 era games often had them as part of its soundtrack, especially in ''Frontline'' (notably the Operation Market Garden theme and Arnhem.).
* CloseRangeCombatant: Knights from ''Underground'' are heavily armoured and run towards the player to hit them with their swords or axes.
* CollapsingLair: In ''Allied Assault'', the player must escape from Fort Schmerzen as the whole fortress is rocked by explosions.
* ContinuityNod:
** The main character of ''Allied Assault'' is given the task of the finding the missing officer from the very first game.
** During ''Vanguard'''s first mission, one may recognize parts of the background music from the Manor House level in ''Frontline''.
* CosmeticAward: Averted and played straight in the first game. Bronze, silver, and gold medals are granted on how much enemies you kill and how much objectives you carry out, and often netted new player models for multiplayer and cheat codes, but the decorations themselves, earned by progression in the game and all the way to the Dreamworks Medal and the Congressional Medal of Honor, did nothing at all.
** ''Allied Assault'' has the same decorations, but you get them for things that aren't part of the actual mission but help anyway, such as saving an American POW, grabbing a manifest and destroying two King Tigers with explosives you have to find first. Like the first ''Medal of Honor'', they did nothing but give you a sense of accomplishment.
* DeadMansTriggerFinger: A staple since the first game. Can be done with any weapon too, which can make it funny when a guy with a panzershreck fires one off at his feet and doesn't launch himself halfway across the room.
* DistressCall: In the first game, the objective of the first mission is to follow a distress call from a G3 officer who had survived a crash, following him all over enemy territory to try and rescue him.
** Same reason for the bonus mission in ''Underground''.
* DoNotDropYourWeapon
* DownerEnding:
** ''Rising Sun''. [[spoiler:The BigBad slits the throat of fellow soldier Tanaka right after he frees you from captivity aboard a supercarrier. He also manages to escape with your kidnapped brother]]
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Most of the games have a level where you have to dress as an enemy officer.
* DrillSergeantNasty / {{Expy}}: In ''Pacific Assault'', there's a drill sergeant who looks and acts suspiciously like R. Lee Ermey.
** Rising Sun also has a similar gunnery sergeant.
* DrivenToSuicide: On Nijmegen Bridge, if you shoot all but one of the snipers off the top of the bridge, the lone sniper will take his chances and jump off the bridge.
** Sometimes he'll start shooting at the Germans below instead!
* DroughtLevelOfDoom: In ''Medal of Honor: Allied Assault'', medkits are much scarcer on the Hard difficulty setting, which can make certain sections {{unwinnable}} if you blunder away your health beforehand.
* DuringTheWar (WorldWarII)
* EasterEgg: Multiple in ''Medal of Honor: Allied Assault''.
** On Omaha Beach and its multiplayer map, if you noclip into the hill the bunkers are on, the word SEAN will be visible.
** In The Communications Blackout, there is a playable piano and violin in one of the buildings. When activated, they play a short part of the menu music.
** During the Sniper City mission, if you manage to rescue some of the tank crew in the first level and keep them alive through the entire second level on Hard, you will complete an additional hidden objective to do so. When the level ends, instead of going to the tank levels, you will spawn in the same map, with 60 seconds to hide in it before your are mercilessly hunted down by a hostile [[CombatMedic bazooka]] [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin medic]].
* EliteMooks: The Waffen-SS and Fallschirmjäger in the first game.
** Sturmgeist's elite guards in ''Frontline''.
** The Storm Elite troopers in ''Airborne'', who qualify as outright [[GiantMook Giant Mooks]] due to their slow speed, [[MadeOfIron inhumanly high durability]], and ability to fire a [[{{BFG}} mounted machine gun]] as a man-portable weapon and ''still'' stay reasonably accurate with it.
* EmergencyWeapon: The pistol in all of the games, generally reserved when you had depleted your ammo for all other weapons. Despite being an emergency weapon, it is quite accurate.
** Averted in ''Airborne'', where the Mauser [=C/96=] becomes a compact [=SMG=] with a blazing rate of fire through the power of upgrades.
** Additionally, ''Airborne'' and all subsequent games gave the pistol infinite extra ammo.
* EnemyCivilWar: ''Underground's'' "Civil War Mode".
* EvilKnockoff: The mass produced Panzerknackers in ''Underground''.
* FallingIntoTheCockpit: During the Flyboys mission in ''Pacific Assault'', you are forced to take control of a dive bomber '''after your pilot bails out'''. Slightly foreshadowed as the cutscene before this mission informs us that Tommy Conlin (the player character) recieved some flight training from the pilots at Henderson Field.
* GameplayAllyImmortality: Usually played straight with important [=NPCs=], but averted in ''Allied Assault'' and ''Frontline'', where they can be killed and cause mission failure.
* HealThyself: Medkits come in three types - bandages, "battle rattle", and a canteen in the first game.
* HeavilyArmoredMook[=/=]GiantMook: In ''Airborne'' there are the Nazi Storm Elites, gas-mask wearing SS wielding MG42 machine guns and heavy body armor that lets them survive almost half a mag of assault rifle fire or up to 3 headshots from the sniper rifle.
* HowWeGotHere: ''Pacific Assault'' starts at the Battle of Tarawa in 1943, then flashes back to Marine boot camp.
* HyperspaceArsenal: The early games give you multiple weapons slots, allowing the player to carry a pistol, rifle, [=SMG=], machine gun, grenades, and a rocket launcher.
** Averted starting with ''Pacific Assault'', though ''Airborne's'' pistol and two weapons slots plus grenades still meant that the character could carry a 20-lb rocket launcher (with 14 rounds!), a 18lb [[CoolGuns BAR]], and ''48 hand grenades''.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: In one mission of ''Rising Sun'', you can meet [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Clemens Martin Clemens]], an actual Coastwatcher that served in the Pacific Theatre.
* HyperDestructiveBouncingBall: In the first game there was a cheat that allowed for bouncing bullets and bouncing grenades.
** Make sure you have GodMode employed when using it though, otherwise it becomes a HoistByHisOwnPetard situation.
* ItsRainingMen: The whole point of ''Airborne'', and the player can control their descent to land almost anywhere on the map. The Allied players in multi-player could do it too.
* KilledMidSentence: Happens to an Allied soldier via sniper fire in the Battle in the Bocage level of ''Allied Assault''.
* LethalJokeCharacter: The first game had unlockable multiplayer characters, such as the German attack dog, a wooden toy soldier, William Shakespeare, two of the game developers, Werner von Braun, and a velociraptor named Steven, a ShoutOut to [[Creator/StevenSpielberg the game's producer.]] Their accuracy isn't affected.
* TheMedic: In ''Pacific Assault'', Jimmy Sullivan is your team's medic in most missions, and your primary way of healing.
* MinecartMadness: The level "Enemy Mine" (no relation to the EnemyMine trope) in ''Frontline''.
** Which was a ShoutOut to the mine cart sequence from ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom''.
* TheMole: Klaus Knefler in ''Breakthrough''.
* MoreDakka: Gun emplacements tend to focus on this, as well as vehicle mounted weaponry you get to control. Large capacity machine guns also utilize this trope.
%%* Multiplatform
* MyRulesAreNotYourRules: In ''Allied Assault'', enemies can blindfire (with remarkable accuracy) and go prone (sometimes even dolphin diving in the middle of a firefight), both very useful moves that you yourself cannot perform and which can be very annoying when they do it.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast:
** Fort Schmerzen in ''Allied Assault''. "Schmerzen" means "pain" in German.
** There's also Lord Sturmgeist in ''Frontline'', "Sturmgeist" meaning "Storm Ghost" in German.
* NoEscapeButDown: The end of Operation Rapunzel, where you must push Geritt off a balcony, then jump off yourself into a hay wagon. Oddly, he can survive without landing in the wagon, while you die if you don't.
* NonIndicativeName: Most of ''Medal of Honor: Frontline'' actually doesn't take place at the front lines of the battlefield. The player spends the bulk of the game as an OSS operative (not a frontline soldier) doing covert missions behind enemy lines, and stealth comes into play in several levels.
* NoodleIncident: The Allied operative in The Golden Lion tells you about a funny story involving the mermaid statue the two of you pass near the end of the level. As he is killed soon afterwards, we never find out what was the story.
* NoSidepathsNoExplorationNoFreedom: Played straight in most of the games, averted in Rising Sun and Airborne to some degree.
** Vanguard as well. Some areas you can only get into if you land in them.
* NoticeThis: Important items and objects are highlighted. Other items may be glowing depending on the game (Allied Assualt marks health but not weapons.)
* OneBulletClips: Averted with the M1 Garand, which the games simply don't let you reload ''at all'' until you've used up all the ammo in the current clip. Played straight for all other weapons with magazines.
* OneManArmy: In the first game, very specifically done as an agent of the OSS. You stop a rail gun, sink a prototype U-Boat, kill Hitler's favorite colonel and destroy his mustard gas facility-slash-fortress, and then wreck his rocket facility.
** And that's just the first game. There's a reason why ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' for the most part averts this trope since because it was considered very unrealistic. War cannot be won by one person alone.
* OutOfGenreExperience: After a previously realistic campaign, ''Airborne's'' last two missions pits you against [[GasMaskMooks gas-masked]] {{Super Soldier}}s toting [[{{BFG}} machine guns]].
* [[ParachuteInATree Parachute on a Windmill]]: In the Rough Landing level of ''Frontline'', a paratrooper who jumps with you is caught on a windmill, and is razed by machine gun fire while trying to free himself. A CallBack to this occurs in the first level of ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'', where your CO is hung up on a tree and killed.
* PoirotSpeak: Klaus in ''Breakthrough'' loves to slip German phrases whenever he speaks in English.
* PragmaticAdaptation: It's a minor point albeit a historical inaccurate one, but Canada's marker for the map for the D-Day invasion is the modern Maple Leaf Flag, which was not adapted until 1965. Most likely the game designers decided that having the Red Ensign flag of that day would too confusing for gamers and not worth the trouble to explain. Rival game ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty 1'' used the historically accurate Red Ensign.
* RealIsBrown: Many of the games.
* RealityIsUnrealistic: [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Ben Crowshaw]]'s rather well-known reaction to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flak_tower G-Tower]] in ''Airborne''.
* RegeneratingHealth: From the 2006 game ''Vanguard'' onward.
* RemixedLevel: Fort Schmerzen, used to produce mustard gas in the first game, is the final mission in ''Allied Assault''.
* RespawningEnemies: Most games have these in at least a couple levels. Similar to the later ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'', you often have to push your way through.
* RPGElements: Only in ''Airborne's'' campaign, where you gain XP for using weapons, which levels that weapon up, giving it a new [[GunAccessories accessory]] per level.
* SequelHook: ''Rising Sun'' ends on a cliffhanger designed to serve as a lead-in to a sequel, but the sequel was canned due to the game's mediocre sales and the plotline was left in limbo (although the ending to the [=PSP=] game ''Medal of Honor: Heroes'' implies Griffin was able to successfully rescue his brother).
* ShaggyDogStory: [[spoiler:The G3 officer in the first mission is dead.]] You're stuck to deal with the angry Nazi search parties.
** ''Allied Assault'' had a mission where you had to [[ContinuityNod rescue the pilot who accompanied the officer]].
** Mission 2 in ''Allied Assault'' assigns you to escort Grillo again, but he is killed at the beginning of the level.
* ShoutOut:
** The manor house level in ''Frontline'' has an EvilChef who appears to do a [[Series/TheMuppetShow Swedish Chef]] impression.
** Frontline and Allied Assault also recreated the Normandy landing from ''Film/SavingPrivateRyan''. Reviews picked up on this and treated it as evidence of this being the game of the film, and is undoubtably the TropeCodifier for WWII games.
** Rising Sun has a mission titled TheBridgeOnTheRiverKwai.
** Allied Assault's second mission has both ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' and ''Film/DasBoot'' references. Also, crate [[Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk 9906753]] appears in the tutorial level.
* SillinessSwitch: ''Panzerknacker Unleashed!'' for ''Underground'' featured dogs dancing, driving jeeps, and wielding guns, German knights, zombies, and evil terminator nutcrackers. Did I mention the dancing dogs?
** The knights were in another mission, so seeing them wasn't very unusual.
** Did you forget the zombies [[MadeOfExplodium exploded]] when killed?
*** There was also "Civil War" mode which caused enemies to fight one another.
** The "Men with Hats" cheat in ''Frontline'' and ''Rising Sun.'' Nothing better to lighten the mood than watching a German soldier run around with a fighter plane glued to his head. And it even gets more hilarious as the game progresses. First, it's just random in-game models, but soon, you'll be fighting person-sized fried eggs, sausages, and '''giant rendered 3D models of the game developers' heads.'''
*** Tends to be game-breaking when enemies get ''full-size submarines'' as hats, leaving you wondering where, exactly, the guy ''is''.
** The first cheat in the original game granted wacky, superhuman power ups in multiplayer - and, of course, there were the hidden characters, ranging from a German attack dog, to [[RaptorAttack a velociraptor]] [[JurassicPark named]] [[Creator/StevenSpielberg Steven.]]
* ShortRangeShotgun: Played straight in the WWII era games, where the shotgun only tickles enemies past about 20 feet.
* SnipingMission: ''Rising Sun'' - On an elephant. With a turret.
** ''Allied Assault'' - Mission 5 has two. Sniper's Last Stand - Outskirts is a sniper versus sniper battle, made difficult since the TheAllSeeingAI can shoot through concealment without difficulty. The Bridge is the other sniping mission, although you aren't sniped back.
* SortingAlgorithmOfWeaponEffectiveness: Averted.
* [[SouthernFriedPrivate Southern Fried Marine]]: Willy Gaines in Pacific Assault.
* StandardFPSGuns: Omits the knife, but you get a pistol, an automatic weapon, a rifle, a shotgun, grenades, and a Panzerfaust.
* StockSubtitle: ''Heroes''.
* StormingTheCastle: ''Underground'' had Manon infiltrate an SS castle. Also, the bonus mission.
** Operation Repunzel in ''Frontline''. The first game was supposed to have a mission in Colditz Castle, but it was dropped.
* TankGoodness: Any and all of the pre-2010 games has at least one tank for the Germans[=/=]Japanese. The first game had an unoccupied Tiger that [[WhatCouldHaveBeen was originally going to be fought]].
* TeleportingKeycardSquad: Nazis almost always rush you from the way you came after obtaining your objective, often accompanied by the fact that they've been tracking you. [[RespawningEnemies Sometimes respawning]].
* ThoseWackyNazis
* TimedMission: ''Underground'' had "[[CrazyTaxi Wacky Taxi]] mode" where all missions get timers.
* UnexpectedShmupLevel: Done several times, ''e.g.'' the jeep level in ''Allied Assault'', the halftrack ride in ''Spearhead'', and the truck ride and MinecartMadness sequences in ''Frontline''.
* UnPerson: A variant is used in the very first game. After James Patterson was awarded the Medal of Honor for his participation and rescue of others in the disastrous recon that preceded D-Day, he suddenly disappears from his barracks and isn't heard from again. It turns out OSS essentially kidnapped him to send him on one-man wars.
* VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: Nordhausen in the original, Gotha in ''Frontline'', Fort Schmerzen in ''Allied Assault'', the Flakturm in ''Airborne'', etc.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: The first game was renowned for enemies reacting to body part specific damage. Shooting them in the [[GroinAttack crotch]] often caused hilarious results. On the other hand, it was totally "clean". There was none of the gore and violence associated with most modern FPS games.
* YouNoTakeCandle: The Soviet soldier who talks to Barnes in ''Spearhead'' speaks in grammatically-incorrect English.
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