Before Uwe Boll brought us the magnificent masterpiece Postal
, there was the notoriously tasteless Postal 2
. And before that
? 1997's Postal
, developed by Running With Scissors. It's arguably one of the most unsettling PC games ever created, and one that attracted a good dose of attention from the Moral Guardians
. You play as "The Postal Dude", who believes himself the Only Sane Man
, and goes on a bloody rampage, shooting it out with cops and soldiers—and inevitably inflicting a lot
of collateral damage along the way.
The 2003 sequel Postal 2
, doesn't play itself ''nearly'' as seriously
. The Postal Dude is now married and lives in a trailer park, and the game covers what has to be the weirdest week of his life, as every day the simplest errands become life-or-death battles. (Cashing his paycheck? Robbers invade the bank and he gets caught in the crossfire. Returning a library book? Anti-book protesters set the library on fire with him in it.
) There is an expansion pack (Apocalypse Weekend
) with its own campaign that covers Saturday and Sunday of The Postal Dude's weirdest week, with new weapons and characters. A popular Game Mod included in later releases of the game
, titled A Week in Paradise
, backports Apocalypse Weekend's enhancements and additional weapons to the base game, as well as merging the two campaigns and adding some extra content for good measure. The game was re-released on Steam
in 2012 through the "Greenlight" service, and then received updates in late 2013 and early 2014 with a ton of new content (including A Week In Paradise
), improvements to video settings, and support for Steam Cloud. After 11 years, the game is now getting yet another expansion pack, Paradise Lost
, the trailer of which you can find here.
Originally slated for a Fall 2014 release, it has since been delayed indefinitely. The events of the expansion pack will most likely Retcon
the events of Postal III
The games are not only controversial, but have also been panned by critics, mostly by reviewers who were offended by the game's content, such as Robert Coffey of Computer Gaming World
who wrote that "until someone boxes up syphilis and tries to sell it at retail, Postal 2 is the worst product ever foisted upon consumers", a quote that has since been included on the boxes of re-releases
. The series as a whole has developed a cult following
reputation with its mixture of shock value and generally fun
, cathartic gameplay, and continues to this day to be a popular source of modding.Postal III
, which is built on the Source engine
, was co-developed by Running With Scissors, TrashMasters Studios, and Russian developer/publisher Akella. It was announced in 2006, and was released worldwide via digital distribution on the Steam
store Christmas week on December 20, 2011, although three retail versions
were released in Russia a month before on November 23, 2011. It was supposed to be released on PC, Mac OS X, Linux, with Xbox 360
and PlayStation 3
ports announced for 2012; only the PC version was released. The game was initially released unrated due to Akella not wanting to pay for an ESRB rating; it took until February 17th, 2012 to get a rating, and until then, the game was only available in non-Russian territories through the Running With Scissors website. Due to a combination of lackluster sales, miscommunication between RWS and Akella, and the sheer number of problems
with the game, RWS has dropped the title from their store
and refers to the title as "Russian Postal", officially calling it a spin-off game
Not to be confused with Portal
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- Badass Longcoat: The Postal Dude's attire of choice, with Cool Shades and, in the third game, Fingerless Gloves.
- Bloody Hilarious: Hell yeah.
- Crapsack World: No normal person would want to live in Paradise. The police are corrupt, and all the townspeople appear to be idiots and/or straight-up psychopaths.
- It's worse in Catharsis, as the global economic meltdown has shot gas prices through the roof. The place is a border town and houses the G.W. Bush memorial border fence, which is used to keep Americans from illegally entering Mexico to look for jobs instead of the other way around. Any "illegals" crossing from Mexico are nothing but Al Qaeda wearing piss-poor disguises.
- Deadpan Snarker: The Dude.
- Disc One Nuke: The hedge trimmers can be acquired as early as Tuesday in A Week In Paradise and one-hit-decap everyone. The police baton becomes this in Enhanced mode, as it can one hit kill to the head.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Though in the second and third games, it depends on the player's actions. Still, the difference between everything and damn-near-everything is academic here.
- Evil Redhead/Red-Headed Hero: The Postal Dude, although he's more morally ambiguous than either being straight-up evil or a hero.
- Excuse Plot:
- Everyone is your enemy and you want to kill them all because... well, that bit was excised so it wouldn't get in the way so much. You're probably just deranged.
- In the sequel, you do your chores, mostly by killing anyone who denies you the objective. Or you can just watch the world fall apart around you.
- Postal III is really just about the Dude trying to escape Catharsis, as it's not much better than Paradise.
- Fat Bitch: The Dude's wife, at least in the movie. In both it and the second game, she's simply known as "The Dude's Bitch".
- For the Lulz and For the Evulz: Of course, it depends on how amoral you want to be. In the second game, it is entirely possible to do a Pacifist Run and complete the game.
- Genre Shift: Not for the games, but for the developer. Prior to Postal, these people made such games as Tom & Jerry and Bobby's World for the SNES, amongst other titles largely aimed at children. They also made the well-known Spy VS Spy game. Why'd they shift over? They basically got tired of making licensed games and wanted to do their own stuff.
- Going Postal: Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: The Postal Dude, when killing terrorists and zombies. The Dude can actually embrace the "Heroic" part in Postal III, where he can become a cop and use non-lethal force to take down bad guys.
- Molotov Cocktail: Available in every game to date.
- Moral Guardians: The series attracted the attention of them in real life, while the games themselves mock them, by portraying them as hypocritically violent protesters.
- Press X to Die: Played literally. In Postal 1, the player can press "Q" to commit suicide by gunshot. Postal 2 allows you to press "G" do the same, but by biting a hand-grenade, which doubles as a Suicide Attack. This was removed from Postal III. There is a nod to it in the form of the "Emo" achievement, for injuring yourself.
- Refuge in Audacity
- The Sociopath: The Postal Dude. Of course, that depends on the player's choices.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: "With my luck, that's really a nun, or someone's grandmother."
- Videogame Cruelty Potential: The whole point of the series. In both games the player can encounter a marching band, that will inevitably be lit on fire or blown up. In Postal 2, it's possible to shoot a character, light him on fire, piss on him to put the fire out, kick him to death while he is crawling on the ground, then whack the charred corpse's head off with a shovel for good measure.
- Villain Protagonist: Though frankly, most characters he meets aren't much better.
- Vulgar Humor: From pissing on anything you come across to ribald sexual references to wearing an ass-less gimp suit, the series love to cash in the shock value to players.
- Wide Open Sandbox: The second and third games to varying degrees. The first game, and the second game's expansion are linear, level-based games, but some levels are fairly open in design. Postal III eventually had a Free Roam mode patched in.
- All There in the Manual: There's no backstory or anything in the game, save for the unsettling loading screens, nor a tutorial of any sort. The manual fills you in a bit, suggesting some sort of Hate Plague.
- The intro to Postal III reveals that his house was foreclosed on, which caused the Dude to snap.
- Body Horror: The credits screen that appears every time you quit.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Unlike the games after, the events of the first Postal aren't Played for Laughs in the slightest (other than some Bond One Liners from the Postal Dude,) and are instead played for all the Nightmare Fuel you'd expect from a guy snapping and going on a killing spree.
- Exploding Barrels: Played straight, and also used somewhat creatively to simulate explosive environmental objects like gas pumps.
- Infant Immortality: Played with. The final level is called "School", but it's all scripted. The Dude shows up and opens fire on a playground, but the children aren't affected. Then he has his BSOD. On the other hand, the kids from that level seem to be the same shorter sprites you can kill during the game, so who knows?
- Murder Simulators: The game seems dangerously close to one, at times.
- Villainous BSOD: See the spoiler above.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: It's actually a lead-up to a hidden Taliban base containing nukes.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: The first objective in the Apocalypse Weekend expansion is to donate sperm. Vulgar humor ensues.
- Aerosol Flamethrower: A Week in Paradise brought the "Can of Stynx", which is useful for setting things aflame at a short range. The Steam release of Postal 2 integrated it into the game proper.
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: Some NPCs will jump in the air, clapping their hands repeatedly or laugh at a dead victim by your hands. Then they will hilariously get frantic when they see a corpse.
- Apocalypse How: Of the Focused Destruction variety. By the end of Friday, the entire town has gone insane, with everyone armed and dangerous and cats literally falling from a darkened sky. Taken further with the appropriately named Apocalypse Weekend, which introduced zombies and more social unrest, not to mention ending with Paradise getting nuked.
- Armor Is Useless: Subverted with the US Army soldiers late in Apocalypse Weekend: they can take more bullets than normal NPCs, and their helmets even protect them from the usual result of a sledgehammer to the face. The other new melee weapons cut right through them with no problem, though.
- Played totally straight for the player; the difference between having armor or not before entering a gunfight is typically only about five extra HP at the end of it.
- Ascended Fanfic: As above, certain re-releases of Postal 2 and its expansion have included A Week in Paradise, as well as another mod, Eternal Damnation.
- Asshole Victim: Many of the people you kill are violent protesters, brutal cops, or terrorists. Even regular civilians will often be extremely rude towards you.
- Author Avatar: The Postal Dude works for Running With Scissors, the developers of the game. He's fired immediately before getting his paycheck from Vince Desi, but employees walking around Paradise are pretty much the only NPCs that will defend the Dude if things go wrong (unless the player chooses the They Hate Me difficulty level, where even the RWS employees themselves will begin shooting at him as soon as they see him). They also have the highest hit points of all the regular NPCs.
- Ballistic Discount: This can be done, with not only the gun shop, but any shop - though many of the clerks are armed, and even if they aren't crossing the trigger line will cause them to run for the police, who definitely are armed. The grocery store is run by Al Qaeda terrorists and even trying to leave without paying will cause the clerk to attack you. And the one actual gun shop in the mall is run by the police department, which are some of the more powerful characters in the game. Even then, shooting all the store clerks might get you the cash in the registers but getting the guns requires shooting/blowing up a circuit breaker box, and attacking this will also alert the authorities. Actually robbing the gun store is possible, but not easy, and usually results in your crime meter going up.
- Batter Up: The baseball bat. The Secondary Fire attack causes Your Head Asplode on whichever poor sucker it comes into contact with. Primary fire at the head will knock the victim's head off, sending it a truly absurd distance across the map, or sometimes out of it altogether.
- Beast of Battle: One area of the game is an arena where a marching band and, for some reason, a trio of elephants are parading around. Annoy the elephants and they go on the rampage, generally taking out the band first. The Apocalypse Weekend expansion includes a scenario where you kill elephants with a scythe for a guy who makes waste-baskets out of their feet; the elephants rampage again and kill everybody else.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Catching a Leprechaun will allow you one of four wishes. The topmost will be granted without incident, but the other three veer into Jackass Genie territory.
- Book Burning: The library and the anti-book protesters.
- Boss Battle:
- Apocalypse Weekend had 2 bosses, the President of Bullfish Interactive at the end of Saturday and the giant cow demon at the end of Sunday.
- The Easter Bunny in the Easter update for the Steam version of Postal 2.
- Bottomless Magazines: Of the classic FPS sort, where ammunition is limited but reloads aren't required, except for the Sawed-Off Shotgun.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: "Hey, it's not my fault. Book the kid with the keyboard." Just one of numerous quips that show that the Postal Dude is keenly aware of being in a video game.
- He'll especially call you out on Save Scumming with the quicksave key. "My grandmother could beat the game if she saved as much as you do!"
- He also has messages for you if you cheat. "Did I ask for cheese?"
- Also, if you kill a certain amount of people, he'll sometimes say, "I know what you're thinking, but the funny thing is, I don't even like video games".
- Brick Joke: At the start of Monday, your wife tells you to pick up some Rocky Road. When you get home at the end of Friday, she asks if you remembered to get the Rocky Road.
- In Apocalypse Weekend, Vince mentions early on Sunday that Mike J has caught mad cow and is out sick. At the very end of the game, Mike J returns as the final boss, the "Kosher Mad Cow Zombie, God of Hellfire".
- Cartoon Bomb: The M@D Bomb, added in the A Week in Paradise mod.
- Chainsaw Good: Also included in the AWP mod. It needs fuel and is noisy, but it can chew through people at close range easily.
- Christianity Is Catholic: The only Christian references are the priests wearing Roman Catholic collars and the cathedral in the north of the town, in which Dude must go confess (which is another Catholic ritual).
- Crime of Self-Defense: Police who witness a gunfight tend to go after whichever of the shooters they see first, rather than who actually started shooting first. As with all video-game police, however, it is entirely dependent on whether the player is involved - if you're being shot and not shooting back, the police will kill your attacker and then probably go after you if you deliberately aggravated the first guy. If you're actively shooting back, they'll drop everything and focus on you as soon as they see you.
- Critical Existence Failure: Averted for NPCs due to dismemberment of limbs, though only in the expansion if you're not playing the A Week in Paradise mod. Played straight with anyone player-controlled.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory: There is neither a reload function (though one weapon can be reloaded, via Secondary Fire) or an action function.
- Daydream Surprise: Apocalypse Weekend begins with one, with the dude imagining himself in bed with two of the Postal babes. It quickly turns nightmarish when some fat evil doctor shows up, at which point the Dude catapults awake.
- Disk One Nuke: A Week in Paradise makes the "Fag Hunter" arcade game into a playable minigame. While the premise might put people off, it's still worth playing just for the chance to grab a fully-loaded revolver, shotgun, machine gun, sniper rifle, and rocket launcher within ten minutes of starting the game (especially since the only extra bonus for actually doing what the minigame tells you is a few health items).
- Even sooner, the same mod adds a machete from Apocalypse Weekend into the shed near the Postal Dude's trailer, which, unlike the melee weapons from the base game, can kill people in a single hit from any range.
- Right at the beginning of the game, on Monday, there's a sewer pipe that leads to a hidden terrorist base, which is located just behind the Dude's home. You'll be facing more than a dozen of Mooks there and most of them are equipped with Machine Guns. Among them are ones wearing black turbans and red longcoats; these drop bullet vests if you manage to shoot them in the head (easiest to do with the pistol). If you manage to survive their stand, you'll be packing heat for the majority of the game. Then, starting on Wednesday, a couple of mooks on the lower level are armed with Rocket Launchers. If you kill them, then you're really off the hook. Not only that, but you can repeat the process at any day by exiting the base from the way you came and then re-entering the base, which respawns the mooks that you've killed. Make sure you're well equipped before going there because, depending on the difficulty level (especially on the harder ones), you could lose health faster than the blink of an eye when getting shot.
- Disgusting Public Toilet: Many throughout the game.
- Donut Mess with a Cop: The Dude can lure cops around, amongst other people, by dropping donuts onto the ground. And you can force them to puke by peeing on the donut before hand. If you eat it however, The Dude becomes disgusted and spits it out
- On another note, one of the things The Dude can say while wearing the cop uniform (available starting Wednesday from the Laundromat for $500) is "Someone stole my donuts, and now you're all going to pay!"
- Driven to Suicide: At the end of the game the Postal Dude realizes he forgot his wife's Rocky Road ice cream and shoots himself rather than face her reaction. In the expansion, he comes to in the hospital the next day, having only inflicted enough damage to cause hallucinations.
- Drop the Hammer: Apocalypse Weekend gives the dude a sledgehammer with which to bust heads.
- Emergency Weapon: The Dude can kick anything in front of him. It's a fairly weak attack, but has Mundane Utility in that it can quickly open doors and force NPCs to get out of your way.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Walking near one of the "Teen Sniper" arcade machines causes the Dude to state "That's clearly wrong."
- Every Car Is a Pinto: And how! Lampshaded by the Dude when reading the daily newspaper on Wednesday as he refers the vehicles as "useless exploding props."
- Everyone Is Armed: After you complete the last errand on Friday, the Apocalypse begins and turns everybody into a gun-toting, trigger happy maniac who won't hesitate to shoot at anything that moves, including you.
- The last three difficulty levels Hestonworld, Insane-O, and They Hate Me, makes everybody this; while at the same time making them tougher and have them dish out a lot more damage than you can handle. They Hate Me takes things further by having everybody gunning for you as soon as they see you, even your RWS allies.
- A couple of recently added difficulty levels: POSTAL and Impossible. Both difficulties are a combination of They Hate Me (both) and either Hestonworld (POSTAL) or Insane-O (Impossible), and they go even further as to limit you to one manual save per map and you can't pick up the 'health pipes' to use. The only concession is that they give you the fish finder radar and it has unlimited usage.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: One errand each day results in a specific group wanting the Postal Dude dead for various reasons. For some it makes sense (butchers on Thursday, from whom you're stealing meat). For others not so much (postal workers on Friday who shoot you because a letter bomb meant for you went off in the mail room; then again, that's assuming you didn't take the violent option and shoot them first). These groups remain enemies to you for the remainder of the week, so as the game progresses more and more hate groups are targeting you.
- Fortunately, with the exception of terrorists, and a few random nutcases who turn up, the hate groups were brightly colored shirts that can be seen from a distance. And it's dead easy to let them start shooting and be blown away by nearby cops. Later in the game other groups begin to appear, but unless you're playing the end game, they don't target Postal Dude.
- Once you finish the last errand on Friday, the Apocalypse comes. At that point, all bets are off: anyone who isn't a RWS employee is going to shoot at you if they see you.
- Also this trope applies in the thirteenth difficulty level aptly titled They Hate Me, in which everybody (including even your usual allies, the RWS employees) is armed to the teeth and won't hesitate to shoot you once you're in their view.
- Fan Disservice: A part of the game where the Postal Dude wakes up dressed in an ass-less gimp suit.
- The expansion has gimp-suited attack dogs and dervish cats.
- Fanservice: Most of the female NPCs are depicted as sexy, with a number seen wearing school girl outfits or police uniforms, crossing the trope with Fetish Fuel.
- Images of bikini-wearing real-life "Postal Babes" are visible in several locations.
- Flushing Edge Interactivity: The player is actually able to wee the whole place upside down, and in fact even urinate on burning victims—the toilets, however, still serve no function.
- Grenade Hot Potato: It's possible to take out grenade-throwing enemies by kicking their grenades back at them.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: In Apocalypse Weekend, the Dude ends put in a jail by the US Army. How to escape? By setting the other inmate on fire with your matches. Yeah, for some reasons, the soldiers stripped the Dude of all his weapons but let him his matches before putting him in a cell with a poster saying something like "doors automatically open in case of fire" inside...
- Harder Than Hard: The game has, believe it or not, thirteen difficulty levels, but the last three levels (Hestonworld, Insane-O, and They Hate Me) really up the ante by having all NPCs armed with various weaponry and do twice as much damage with their weapons. The hardest, They Hate Me, takes it Up To Thirteen by having everybody shooting you on sight. The Steam version has an additional one named POSTAL difficulty which is identical to They Hate Me except you can't stockpile health items/healing items and are only allowed one save per map (two counting autosaves). The good news is that you start off with a free "Bass Sniffer radar that never runs out.
- Hate Plague: Afflicts the whole town of Paradise after you complete all of your tasks on Friday. At least the NPCs are often too busy killing each other to bother with killing you.
- Hitbox Dissonance: Gary Coleman. Especially obvious when the AI always goes for the head and you see puffs of blood appearing ABOVE Gary's head when he gets into a shootout. Likely done for balance reasons, lest Gary end up like Golden Eye 1997's Oddjob.
- This also leads to strange things if you play A Week in Paradise and attempt to kill Gary when he shows up; if you do so with a bladed weapon and behead him, his ragdoll stretches out to normal size.
- Fixed in the Steam version, Gary's hitbox matches his model and no longer glitches out when decapitated.
- Hitler Ate Sugar: As per parody, some book protesters hold signs stating "ACHTUNG! HITLER WROTE A BOOK!", completely oblivious to the fact that the Nazis also burned books.
- Hollywood Tourette's: The "Mad Cow Tourettes Zombies" in Apocalypse Weekend as mentioned earlier.
- Hyperactive Metabolism: Doughnuts, pizza slices, and bags of fast food can heal the Dude for a few amount of health points.
- The Health Pipe does a variation of this. One use of it instantly grants 125 health points for the Dude, but there's a catch: you can't eat food or use medkits when you use a Pipe unless your points drop below 100, and after a few minutes of getting high, his heart will beat faster than normal, indicating that he's about to go in withdrawal. Should you not take another health pipe, the extra health points go down just below 100 or, if your points are already below 100 via getting yourself hurt in various ways, about a few percentage of your health. The Dude even comments when taking a pipe and then suffer withdrawal from it.
Postal Dude: I probably shouldn't be doing this.
- Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: One of the napalm launcher's fire modes. The AWP mod's M@D Bomb and Jihad Grenade, both grenade-type weapons, also have some unusual bounce to them.
- Hypocritical Humor: Probably not intentional, but it's entirely possible to see a book protester on Tuesday attempting to get a book signed by Gary Coleman.
- This is the source of humor from a lot of the hate groups: protesters who are against violent video games holding signs stating "KILL VIOLENT GAMERS" and can later be found playing arcade games in the mall, a condemned house with graffiti sprayed by an otherwise-unseen "Parents Against Graffiti" group, and others.
- A meta example: the ad campaign for the first Postal heavily dissed first person shooters. Postal 2 is, of course, a first person shooter.
- As mentioned under Even Evil Has Standards, the Dude states "that's clearly wrong" when you walk by the "Teen Sniper" arcade game. Most versions of A Week in Paradise, naturally, add an optional objective that, once done, lets you actually play that arcade game.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Most of the meat sold at Meat World is made by grinding up human corpses. Hence, you have to fight your way through the butchers to find the only packages of non-human beef in the store.
- Impersonating an Officer: You can go to the Police Station and snag an officer outfit there to make you become one of Paradise's LE personnel. Of course, you can invoke Police Brutality yourself by randomly attacking citizens on a whim.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Gary Coleman, as well as RWS's Vince.
- It's the Only Way to Be Sure: See below, except The Postal Dude's plan wasn't about the zombies that happened to have overwhelmed Paradise at the time.
- I'll Kill You!!: Often uttered by hostile NPCs when you get too close.
- Ironic Name: The town of Paradise is not what you expect it to be. Of course, the developers deliberately gave it that name just For the Lulz.
- Joke Weapon: Piss. It can't kill anyone, but it will cause enemies to vomit and run away, or at least be distracted. It's also the only way to put yourself out if you catch fire.
- Lethal Joke Weapon: Piss becomes much more effective in Enhanced Mode, where you can literally shoot flames from your [unseen] wang.
- On Friday, the Dude complains about having to pee, prompting the player to unzip and urinate somewhere. This is instantly painful. You have to go to the clinic to get cured of an STD, but in the meantime your diseased piss will cause any NPC to vomit the second you pee on them- although this damages your health.
- Thanks to some poorly-designed flag work, you can skip the clinic entirely if you never take a leak during Friday, a useful fact for speed runs - just try not to catch on fire when cops are throwing it everywhere at Uncle Dave's place.
- Katanas Are Just Better: In the AWP mod, they're good for dismembering people with a quick slash and also assassinating people in public with an alt-fire throw right after unsheathing it, unless they survive being impaled by a hurled katana. Police officers are also strangely resistant to them. Enhanced Mode makes it better by letting you toss an infinite number of them without having to pick them back up.
- Karma Houdini: Postal Dude, again. At the end of Apocalypse Weekend he nukes an entire city killing an unknown amount of people, and he gets away free, despite taking out about half of the US Army in the process. He even gets to save his dog, too.
- In a comic posted on the official site at one point detailing the immediate aftermath, the government officially blamed Al Qaeda for the nuke. Not that it was a huge stretch, since Paradise was literally infested with Al Qaeda members by this point.
- Kick the Dog: Postal Dude does this as soon as he exits his trailer first thing Monday morning. Literally. Though considering Champ's actions right before the fact (see here) and depending on how you perceive it, this may fall somewhere between Kick the Dog and Kick the Son of a Bitch.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: NPCs will sometimes fall down to the ground without dying if you shoot at their non-vital areas (i.e. arms, legs). It is however, easiest to do with the taser or sniper rifle (in the latter's case, you must shoot their legs for that to happen). Then when they're down, you can deliver a good few kicks to them until they expire.
- NPCs themselves will kick at a corpse repeatedly when they're not running like chickens, often spouting lines like "Here's one for your mother!" or "Take this with you!"
- Kill It with Fire: Let's just say that the fire effects are very, very thoroughly planned.
- You can pour trails of gasoline on the floor and light it with a match when some poor sap walks near.
- There's the napalm launcher weapon, which either fires impact-detonating napalm bombs or fires Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball napalm bombs that spill fuel that catches fire soon after all over the place!
- The A Week in Paradise mod adds an easy to find Aerosol Flamethrower weapon.
- If you get caught on fire, which likely WILL happen if you're in close quarters with other people set ablaze, you can try to piss it out.
- King Mook: Gary Coleman and Krotchy aren't straight up bosses, but both are noticeably tougher than any other character in the regular game (not counting Apocalypse Weekend or the new Holiday updates). Krotchy fights with a rocket launcher and is also Immune to Bullets, but not scissors or explosives.
- Lighter and Softer: Postal 2 in comparison with Postal 1. It's still demented and violent, but the game has a more comical atmosphere, with less disturbing stuff.
- Loads and Loads of Loading: Postal 2 was often criticized for this. The loading is milder in patched versions, though. More powerful and modern PCs turn the loading issue into a non-issue.
- Ludicrous Gibs: AND HOW!
- Apocalypse Weekend adds dismemberment; people can have their limbs sliced off and still live, bleeding and crawling in pain. With the scythe, you can cut their torsos in two and watch some organs spill out!
- The A Week in Paradise mod takes it up a notch by having NPCs run around screaming with their arms gone, while making the gore even more detailed.
- Mooks but No Bosses: Although Gary Coleman and especially Krotchy are tougher than normal, they're not quite tough enough to be boss-like. Apocalypse Weekend has a traditional FPS boss (in the form of a giant demon man-cow protected by an energy shield that has to be lowered by attacking its weak point) for the final battle. The Easter update for the steam version introduces the Easter Bunny if you follow the trail of easter eggs in the woods into his hideout. The fight with him is a actual boss battle.
- New Game+: Beating the game once enables "Enhanced Mode", which gives such bonuses as the ability to piss napalm. One can also access the cheat menu after having beaten the game. In the Steam version, more weapons get enhanced too. The shotgun can shoot explosions with alt-fire, the assault rifle can shoot scissors, the sniper rifle shoots explosive bullets, the grenade launcher shoots cats, and the baton is a One-Hit Kill to the head.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: "Aww shit, Mad Cow Tourettes Zombies!"
- No Badass to His Valet: The Postal Dude's wife.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Although the trope is somewhat different in its context than its name suggests, based on its name alone it is averted by the fact the in-game Gary Coleman can be killed by either the player or the player can sit back and watch the cops do it for him. However, if the player visits the police station later in the game, Coleman will still be alive and in a jail cell. In the Apocalypse Weekend expansion, the player ends up fighting a number of demonic versions of Coleman, and the real deal shows up sporadically as a background character.
- Nuke 'em: In the ending of Apocalypse Weekend, the Dude grabs a nuclear warhead from an Army base after he's detained as a terrorist. He sets it up at a rival game company, and it takes out Paradise as he and his dog Champ drive away.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The Pigeon Hunting mission. The Postal Dude has been given a rocket launcher and told to take out flocks of pigeons carrying disease. The game then cuts to a live-action video where it's shown the developers have run out of money and cannot possibly afford designing another mission. When we return to the Postal Dude later in the day, he is standing amidst enormous puddles of blood and feathers, proclaiming what he has just experienced as "the most awesome thing [he's] ever done." Also doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny.
- Our Zombies Are Different: The Mad Cow Tourettes Zombies from Apocalypse Weekend, who grumble slurred strings of profanities whilst stalking their victims. Will not die if their heads are intact - yes, this includes a clean beheading, as pointed out in a cutscene. Your Head Asplode is a must.
- Pacifist Run: Difficult, but possible with skill and patience. You're rewarded with an endgame message saying "Thank you for playing, JESUS!". Impossible to do in Apocalypse Weekend, however.
- Technical Pacifist: A possible way to perform a pacifist run is to draw a gun in a crowd then immediately hide it and run (without actually attacking anyone). It has an important probability to make other people there draw guns themselves and start a shoot out (especially if there are policemen in the vicinity), and since you didn't kill them yourself, it won't be recorded as your own casualties. An alternative is to hide, draw your gun, and shoot the ground or a wall near a group you want to thin out; they'll react about the same way, only without noticing you specifically.
- The thirteenth difficulty level, They Hate Me, makes it outright impossible to play pacifist, since everybody in Paradise will start shooting you as soon as they see you.
- Police Brutality: The in-game police seem to enjoy beating the crap out of random civilians just for the hell of it. Their methods of dealing with actual crimes could also come off as overkill. It's even lampshaded by civilians who witness brutality by the police by spouting lines like, "I've lost faith in the system!" or "That cop's gone insane!" Made even more hilarious when you don a police uniform, and YOU start roughing up civilians.
- While they'll allow you to sit still and be handcuffed, the NPCs do not get that option - the cops will kill them. Seems to be a trade-off, as they'll let NPCs walk around clearly carrying weapons with no problem, but if they see you draw one they've already got their own drawn and aimed at you.
- Precision Guided Machete Mayhem: Apocalypse Weekend gives the dude a machete. He can hack off limbs up close or toss it with the alternate fire button, at which point it will fly back to his hand!
The Postal Dude: "Oh man. That is fucking awesome!"
- Save Scumming: Lampshaded with a side of fourth wall demolition if you use the quicksave key frequently.
- Schmuck Bait: Urine-soaked doughnuts on the ground. Both for NPCs and you. For the former, they'll vomit one out of their mouths in disgust after thinking it was a treat; bonus points if it is a cop who eats it. For the latter, you just regain only one hit point while being equally nauseous.
- Secondary Fire: Many weapons have it, though not all.
- Shoplift and Die: One of the first tasks is to get milk from the store. If you take it and leave without paying, the owner will come after you with a gun. Of course, this being Postal, you can just shoot him. And of course, that's assuming you didn't already shoot him before even getting the milk. The game strongly implies that this is the preferred outcome: the objective is counted as complete as soon as you grab the milk, and looking at it in the inventory yields the message "Go up and pay for it... or not." Plus, attempting to do so places you in a ridiculously long queue filled with people custom-designed to irritate the player with their words and behaviour. That, and the shop owner is clearly a terrorist.
- Shout-Out: In the Steam version of Postal 2, you can find the grave of a "Badge Collector".Explanation
- Sinister Scythe: Added in Apocalypse Weekend. The Dude can use it to sever enemies clean in two, whether swung up close or thrown from afar.
- Strawman Political: The protesters, who are often hypocrites and are not above killing people and setting buildings ablaze to make their point... even if their point is against violence. Especially blatant when the first group you meet, Parents for Decency, wants to kill violent video gamers. They inevitably end up wanting to kill The Postal Dude, who mostly just ends up being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: In Apocalypse Weekend the publishing company's CEO denies having the Postal 2 gold master disc, even though it's right there on his desk.
"Hey! That's my gold master that I don't have. Give it back!"
- Take That: Postal 2 features some stabs at Senator Joe Lieberman, who said some rather bad things about Postal 1, amongst other violent video games such as Doom.
- The easiest difficulty in the game is called "Liebermode", and removes guns from the game entirely.
- In the December 2013 patch for the Steam version, you can get an achievement by finding and pissing on a copy of Postal III.
- Another achievement is named "It's OK, we got Greenlit anyway" (for getting someone to refuse to sign your petition and then killing them), referencing the hate the game received for "stealing" other games' chances of getting released through Greenlight.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: It is nearly impossible to beat the game without killing anyone (especially in the hardest difficulty level, see below) and in fact, most players probably wouldn't even think of trying it (sort of defeats the purpose of a game designed purely for Catharsis Factor). However, if you somehow manage to pull it off, you will get a unique message at the end of the game saying "Thanks for playing, Jesus".
- There are a surprising number of details in the game itself too, showing that the development team truly cared to add depth to the game's interactivity: For example, if you "discard" a cat near a dog, the dog will pursue the fleeing cat until it catches it, allied dogs will fight just about any person who is assaulting you until the person or the dog is dead, and dogs will even leave waste matter on the ground, given time. Other touches include varied responses based upon your costume, such as police officers saying something similar to "It's not worth your pension!" if they see you "tasering" somebody while you're dressed as a cop.
- Thirteen Is Unlucky: The game has 13 difficulty settings, with the thirteenth setting (the hardest) aptly named "They Hate Me." On this mode, everybody is armed to the teeth and out for your head, making it next to, if outright, impossible to do a Pacifist Run. The Steam version, formerly named POSTAL 2 Complete, adds a "POSTAL" difficulty setting, which is even harder.
- And then there is the aptly named Impossible difficulty. If you choose this, you better be prepared for hours upon hours of hair-pullingly hard gameplay, just to get your paycheck.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Can be done with the Secondary Fire of Apocalypse Weekend's melee weapons, though in the case of the machete it will return to you after a while. Subverted if an armed character sees it coming and blocks the thrown weapon with his/her own weapon.
- Also subvert-able in that throwing a sledgehammer at a cow from behind can actually cause the thing to get stuck up its anus. Dogs can also catch machetes in their mouth without getting it chopped off, as well.
- Urine Trouble:
- Wide Open Sandbox: At the start of the day, you're given three or four errands and then left to your own devices. You can even choose to do some errands in different ways - for example, the bank robbery mentioned at the very top of the page? You can sneak into the vault and steal the money yourself while the intended robbers and police are fighting each other, and then sneak out through a secret passage behind a bookshelf.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: The Postal Dude's name really is "The Postal Dude". Pay a parking ticket in the second game and the cop says, "And let that be a lesson to you, Mr. The Dude." His dad's gravestone is also labeled "T. Dude Sr."
- The Postal III intro lampshades this, the Dude saying that he "hates that fucking name". When asked if he has a real name, he sheepishly admits "I forget".
- You Got Murder: The package intended for you later in the main game is a letter bomb. You can later find the exact same packages among the Taliban, most notably in Apocalypse Weekend.
- Your Head Asplode: A shotgun blast or sledgehammer whack to the face usually does this. Required to kill the zombies in Apocalypse Weekend.
- Action Girl: Guest star Playboy Playmate Jennifer Walcott acts like one, as do the Postal Babes.
- Amazon Brigade: Of sorts. Jennifer Walcott heads a team of security guards made up completely of Postal Babes.
- Anachronism Stew: A very minor case. The game takes place after Dubya's administration, but the Dude has a cellphone from the '80s.
- Affectionate Parody: Believe it or not. The game's cutscenes have a grindhouse flare.
- Batter Up: A nail-bat, even. Secondary Fire tosses the bat at an enemy, where it sticks fast.
- Bland-Name Product: Various stores and restaurants, and the "Thegways."
- Charged Attack: How the rocket launcher works. The longer you hold down the left mouse button, the further the rocket will go before detonating. Try not to just tap the button. The Secondary Fire is a Homing Projectile instead.
- Custom Uniform: Ever so slightly. If the dude goes the "good" path and thus has to wear a variety of police uniforms and suits, he keeps his happy face and Christian cross buttons, as well as his Fingerless Gloves.
- Difficult but Awesome: This installment's rather loose physics has made using the Machete's alt-fire throw much more difficult, though it still kills enemies damn quick.
- Emergency Weapon: The kick returns. There aren't any doors you need to kick open, but it'll knock over most human foes, setting them up for any number of nasty finishing attacks.
- Everything's Worse with Bees: Swarms of African Killer Bees roam some areas, most notably the Ecotoligists' compound. They slowly eat away at the health of anyone they chase after. The Postal Dude can acquire bee hives to throw at enemies, thus unleashing the bees on them.
- Fan Disservice: The Dude's first job in the game is working as a cleaner in a sex shop ran by Mayor Raul Chomo (played by Ron Jeremy), 'nuff said.
- Said Mayor also has a Malaysian slave boy... which ends up being a 40-year-old slave man. In a gimp suit. That's assless. And has nipple tassels. And a Gary Coleman mask on the back of his head.
- Reaching Daveland on either route has Chomo's Presidential Campaign tape replaced with a sex tape featuring the Mayor. And Uncle Dave. And the Malaysian slave "boy". And a rhino. Thankfully, it's only described, but what little is seen of the "video" shows someone's naked ass and a man-tit.
- Hotter and Sexier: The few released promotional materials so far seem to indicate this, with a Playboy Playmate (Jennifer Walcott, for the curious) making a guest appearance as herself. There's a couple of unnamed Postal Girls on the side.
- Improbable Weapon User: A shop vacuum, rabid cats, killer bees, and the goddamn badgersaw, just to name a few.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Jen Wolcott, Ron Jeremy, Randy Jones and other celebrities appearing as themselves.
- Joke Weapon: Piss again.
- Karma Meter: The game has one, with a "Good" side and a "Bad" side. The "Good" side has the Dude joining the Catharsis Police Force. The "Bad" side has the Dude staying the immoral asshole he has always been and working along side his Uncle Dave and Mayor Chomo. Good karma is maintained by carefully observing your objectives, using non-lethal force when necessary, and not rampaging against innocent bystanders. Bad karma is gained by ignoring your secondary objectives and massacring the residents of Catharsis. In a weird twist, only Good karma can be lost while Bad karma can be both gained and lost.
- Kill It with Fire: The gas can returns, though the napalm launcher is regrettably absent. You can use the pepper spray as an Aerosol Flamethrower, though. And there's always Molotov Cocktails.
- Loads and Loads of Loading: Get used to looking at Uwe Boll flipping you off.
- Multiple Endings
- Good Ending: After Mayor Chomo's botched campaign speech and him, Uncle Dave, and Osama run away, the Dude is sent after them. While cornered, Dave decides to arm a plutonium bomb so that the Hockey Moms, Postal Babes, Gay Cowboys, and the Dude are killed along with them. Turns out that the Afghani "plutonium" is nothing but a jar of piss. After the Dude kills Chomo, Dave, and Osama, things take a turn for the weird-worst. The Apocalypse happens again. With the fucking Venezuelan army lead by Hugo Chavez showing up. After fighting his way through the war-torn streets of Catharsis to reach his trailer, the Dude confronts Chavez and kills him. The aftermath results in a wave of "Dude-mania", with the Dude becoming a national hero, finishing with him taking the 2012 Presidential campaign by storm and replacing Barack Obama, with Jennifer Walcott as his personal bodyguard. While discussing Oval Office redecoration ideas with Jen, the Dude finds the infamous fictional representation of the nuclear football thanks to Champ. It ends with a close-up of the Dude wearing a devilish grin on his face and saying "I will regret nothing". Cue the credits.
- Bad Ending: Starts off almost the same as the Good Ending, but instead of the Dude going after the Mayor, Uncle Dave, and Osama, he fights his way out of Daveland with Champ and leaves them to the Hockey Moms. Dave decides to drink the "plutonium" rather than have the Hockey Moms kill him, but finds out that the jar was full of piss. The Hockey Moms end up tearing the trio apart akin to a zombie horde. After a fake-out "The End", the Dude continues his tale, showing that him, Champ, and the Motorhead monkey were captured by the US army and sub-sequentially given the electric chair. Another scene change reveals that the person the Dude was telling his tale to was Saint Peter, in hopes of bullshitting his way into Heaven. After Peter trounces the Dude's story, he says that he has no choice but to send the Dude to his eternal damnation. As the Dude and Champ are dropped into Hell, the Dude yells out "I regret nothing!" and the credits roll.
- Neutral/Pacifist Ending: Same as the Good Ending, except for the final outcome. The Postal Dude ends up on Limp Dickerson's late night talk show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous", sharing his story of having escaped the Venezuelan Army in Catharsis without killing anyone. He announces that his best-selling book: "The Fall of Paradise: If I Did It" (a jab at O.J. Simpson's book) is coming out on softcover. He has since married Jennifer Walcott after finding her trying to hotwire his car, with their wedding ceremony taking place in Machu Picchu. The couple then take this moment to advertise the Peruvian Big Mac and Peruvian NAZCAR (NASCAR + Nazca Lines). The host then congratulates them on their highly publicized lottery jackpot win of $500,000,000, with the Dude also mentioning that they've moved into their dream house, ending with the obligatory quip: "I guess you could say, I regret nothing." Champ then proceeds to gnaw the host's nads, the signal fades and the credits roll.
- More Dakka: This installment features an M249 machine gun. Spraying it for long enough can reduce most enemies to Ludicrous Gibs, but will cause it to rattle around in The Dude's arms, drastically decreasing accuracy.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Chainsaw Badger!
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: For the most part, celebrities appear as themselves (Jennifer Wolcott, Randy Jones, etc.) or as in-name parodies of such (Uwe Boll, Al Gore, Hugo Chavez) but there is one major exception- the unnamed leader of the Hockey Moms looks a whole hell of a lot like Sarah Palin.
- Obvious Beta: The game has some glaring glitches. Certain Steam achievements are bugged and don't unlock, the AI for certain NPCs are still primitive or broken, and certain computer builds make the game crash constantly. It was chiefly for this reason that RWS all but disowned the game.
- Press X To Get A Rabid Cat Off You
- Regenerating Health: Gone are the health pickups of earlier installments, though some of the Postal Dude's lines would seem to imply that health packs were Dummied Out at some point.
- Secondary Fire: A lot of weapons in this game have it. The machete returns from Apocalypse Weekend with it's throw-and-return alt fire. The Pepper Spray's alt-fire turns it into an Aerosol Flamethrower, while that of the Catnip Spray causes the Dude to inhale it and go into psychedelic Bullet Time.
- Shout-Out: Many in the achievements, including ones to The Matrix, Judge Dredd, Repo Man, and various action movie actors.
- Straw Feminism: According to the "Hockey Mom Leader" anything even remotely pornographic is in fact a worldwide conspiracy to objectify all women.
- Stuff Blowing Up: You've got grenades and a rocket launcher. Have fun.
- Take Cover: Added along with a general third-person perspective shift.
- Take That: This game features jabs at, among other things, Uwe Boll, Jack Thompson, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, Al Gore, Osama bin Laden, the audience and the developers themselves. Of note is the achievement "Jack Thompson Was Right" for killing 1000 Innocent Bystanders.
- Tempting Fate: The setting of this installment is a town called "Catharsis".
- Trashcan Bonfire: Can be found in various places.
- Unreliable Narrator: If you get the bad ending, it reveals that the entire game was just a fake story that the Dude made up just to get into Heaven. Unfortunately, St. Peter saw through his lies and sent him to Hell as punishment.
- Wide Open Sandbox: Seems to be returning to this after Apocalypse Weekend, with more of a focus on making mass-murder optional.