Video Game: Rampage

Rampage is a 1986 arcade game by Bally Midway. Players take control of gigantic monsters trying to survive against onslaughts of military forces. Each round is completed when a particular city is completely reduced to rubble. Not to be confused with the Uwe Boll movie.


Up to three simultaneous players control the monsters George (a King Kong-like gorilla), Lizzy (a Godzilla-like dinosaur/lizard), or Ralph (a giant werewolf), created from mutated humans. They need to raze all buildings in a high-rise city to advance to the next level, eating people and destroying helicopters, tanks, taxis, police cars, boats, and trolleys along the way.

Monsters can jump and climb buildings, and punch enemies and buildings. Buildings also take damage when jumped on by a monster.

The player's monster receives damage from enemy bullets, grenades, shells and so forth, and from falls. Damage is recovered by eating appropriate food such as fruit, roast chicken, or soldiers. If a monster takes too much damage, it reverts back into a naked human and starts walking off the screen sideways, covering its genitals with its hands. While in this state, the player can be eaten by another player. If the player continues, the human mutates back into the monster, or flies in on a blimp if off-screen, with a full life bar.

Smashing open windows generally reveals an item or person of interest, which may be helpful or harmful. Helpful items include food or money. Dangerous ones include bombs, electrical appliances, and cigarettes. Some items can be both, for example a toaster is dangerous until the toast pops up, and a photographer must be eaten quickly before he dazzles the player's monster with his flash, causing it to fall. If a monster eats a toilet, it immediately goes into a humorously animated choking fit.

When a civilian is present (waving their hands out a window signalling for help), a player's points meter rapidly increments when the civilian is grabbed. Each player can hold only one type of person: George can hold women, Lizzy can hold men, and Ralph can hold businessmen.

Rampage is set over the course of 128 days in cities across North America. The game starts in Peoria, Illinois and ends in Plano, Illinois. In Plano, players receive a mega vitamin bonus which heals all the monsters and provides a large point bonus. After this, the cycle of cities repeats five times. After 768 days, the game resets back to Day One.

Some of the home port versions of the game start in San Jose, California and end in Los Angeles, California after going all around North America. The rampage travels through two Canadian provinces and forty-three U.S. states. Connecticut, Delaware, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Vermont are spared.


Rampage was ported to most home computers and video game consoles of its time, including the Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Atari Lynx, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, MS-DOS/IBM PC, ZX Spectrum, NES, and Sega Master System. The Atari Lynx version adds a special fourth character named Larry, a giant rat. The NES version excludes Ralph, reducing the number of monsters to two. Rampage was included as part of the Arcade Party Pak for the PlayStation in 1999. More recently, Rampage was included in 2003's Midway Arcade Treasures, a compilation of arcade games for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. This game is also available as a bonus feature in Rampage: Total Destruction. Tiger Electronics released a handheld LCD version of the game in the 1990's.

In July 2000, as a subsidiary of Williams Electronics, Midway licensed Rampage along with other Williams games, to Shockwave for use in an online applet to demonstrate the power of the shockwave web content platform, entitled Shockwave Arcade Collection. The conversion was created by Digital Eclipse.

Unlike the original arcade game, most of the home ports (such as the NES, Sega, and Atari Lynx versions) actually end, rather than repeating levels endlessly.

About a decade later, a sequel was released entitled Rampage: World Tour, later followed by console-exclusive games including Rampage 2: Universal Tour, Rampage Through Time, and Rampage Puzzle Attack. The most recent game in the series is Rampage: Total Destruction.


  • Aliens in Cardiff: You'd expect an outbreak of giant monsters to happen in Tokyo or New York. No, it's Peoria, Illinois.
    • One of the last cities featured in World Tour is New York.
  • Alien Invasion: In Universal Tour. They replace the normal enemies, and gradually their buildings replace the normal buildings as well.
  • Alliterative Name: A great number of the monsters that appeared in the series have names that are alliterative with their species. George is a gorilla, Lizzie a lizard, Jack Jackalope, Jill Jellyfish, the list goes on. Seems the animal a person mutates into depends almost entirely on their name.
  • Annoying Laugh: Philbert from Total Destruction, despite being an ungalate.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: When the first game came out, it started out with just Ralph, George and Lizzie. During the many sequels, many other monsters were added to the series.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: Dr. Betty Veronica wears a short labcoat.
  • Defeat by Modesty: When your monster is defeated in the first and second game, he/she reverts back to human form and sidles away covering his/her privates in shame.
  • Destructive Savior: The monsters in Universal Tour, ironically enough. The aliens plans to invade the Earth ends up getting thwarted by the monsters, who go on to level their home planet as well.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Done surprisingly subtly. Eating random pills or syringes you find in buildings in World Tour causes your character to vomit and lose health.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: Dr. Betty Veronica is the only surviving employee of Scumlabs, which has been destroyed by the monsters.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Fitting for a game based around destroying everything in a stage.
  • Expy: Both George and Liz are obviously modeled after King Kong and Godzilla.
  • Fartillery
    • Harley's special power in Through Time.
    • Averted in Total Destruction. The monsters can fart and burp, but it doesn't do any damage.
  • Gasshole: The monsters in Total Destruction will always burp and/or fart after they eat someone or something. Even the ones who don't physically have a mouth or anus.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In World Tour, when the monsters revert back into humans, they stand up naked for about a second before realizing this and covering up. The sprites are small, but if you take a close look, you can see their private parts before they cover themselves.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The aliens in Universal Tour. You free the monsters from the previous two games, then out of nowhere, Earth is invaded by aliens.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • Total Destruction does not tell the players which city each monster should go to in order to unlock a new special power. Which means you'll probably be replaying the entire game over and over and over again with all the monsters just to find them all.
    • The game also doesn't even hint at where they can find the new monsters to unlock. That means you need to search every single city, every single district, every single building, every single window...
  • Hand or Object Underwear: The pose the naked human form adopts.
  • Helicopter Flyswatter
  • Hot Scientist: Dr. Betty Veronica. And how!
  • Humongous Mecha: Two types in World Tour: one attacks with flamethrowers and machine guns, the bigger version punches you and turns into the smaller variant when destroyed.
  • Kaiju
  • Kent Brockman News: Rampage 2 and 3 began with newscasts by WBC, and succeeded in being hilarious.
  • Killer Gorilla: George is a mutated gorilla, and just loves eating people. (Especially the pretty girl in the plain green T-shirt and jeans!)
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Rampage 2: Universal Tour on Nintendo 64 has two:
    • One came with a Rampage Baby, one of three possible plush keychains of George, Lizzie, and Ralph.
    • Another came with a shirt.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: the sheer, overwhelming number of monsters populating the final game (30, plus 10 exclusive for the Wii) is arguably one of the reasons it tanked so thoroughly: none of them were particularly interesting, and none of them were really worth the effort to unlock.
  • Meganekko: Dr. Betty Veronica.
  • Mutants: According to the storyline this what the monsters are. In the first three games, they were the result of failed Scum Labs experiments, and in the final game, the monsters were all part of a test group for Scum Soda.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Who the hell tries to market something called "Scum Soda"?
  • No Ending: The destruction simply goes on and on and on and on... in the first game, the final level was on the moon, but the best you got was a congratulation screen.
    • Averted in the most recent game: Total Destruction. After defeating the final boss in New York, it is revealed that everyone thinks that the monsters are a publicity stunt and Scum Soda, which caused the problem in the first place, is sold out everywhere.
  • Notzilla: Lizzie, a woman who has mutated into a giant Godzilla-esque lizard monster.
  • Only Sane Man: Dr. Betty Veronica in World Tour, the news anchor in the intros for the PSX version of Universal Tour and Rampage Through Time.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Dr. Betty Veronica.
  • Samus is a Girl: It's a surprise for some players that Lizzie is a female. Mostly due to the fact that female characters were still rare in video games in the mid-1980s.
  • She's Got Legs: Dr. Betty Veronica.
  • Shout-Out: In the original Rampage there were certain people that the monsters could hold in their hand for a short time. George's resembled that girl from King Kong.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Lizzie in the original arcade and, in terms of selectable characters, in World Tour as well.
  • Subliminal Seduction: Parodied in the Atari Lynx version.
    There are no (Buy a Lynx) subliminal messages (Or two) in this game (Buy a Lynx).
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Larry the Rat in Rampage (Atari Lynx only) for Curtis the Mouse in Universal Tour (a Rat in Through Time) for Rhett the Rat in Total Destruction. Also Harley the Warthog in Universal Tour and Through Time for Wally the Warthog in Total Destruction.
  • Title Drop: In the intro for Rampage 2: Universal Tour.
    "Heaven help us! They're on a rampage!"
  • Toilet Humour: Mostly in Total Destruction, as listed above under Gasshole. Even the loading screens weren't immune to this; during the loading screens, you can randomly press buttons on the controller, and some of them trigger a farting or belching noise.
  • Token Good Teammate: Dr. Betty Veronica, who is the only Scumlabs employee who isn't malevolent or even evil in the slightest!
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Possibly the point of these games. First off, you may get points by snacking on civilians and soldiers. But there's also the fact that, in World Tour, there are elders, entire families (including kids) and wheelchair-bound people among the victims!!!
    • Total Destruction takes this Up to Eleven with ACTUAL CRUELTY: One of the monsters' favorite food is a CAT.
    • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: ...however, sometimes your attempts to eat some poor bastard just trying to take a bath (or at least raiding his fridge) are met with your monster eating a toaster or a jug of poison instead.
      • Not to mention the fact that eating clergymen results in your monster getting struck by lightning...
    • In a 2 player or more game, if one of the other players dies and turns back to human, one of the other players can eat them... which only gains the player that did so a tiny bit of health and drops their score to zero.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: In all of the games, if the monsters eat something hazardous, they'll probably regurgitate it. It's worse in Total Destruction, as the monsters actually sound like they're puking their guts out instead of just spitting or groaning, and the vomit looks much grosser.
  • Was Once a Man: George was a Scumlabs employee who turned out as an accidental test subject (thanks to an experimental Mega-Vitamin). Lizzie drank contaminated water. Ralph ate contaminated sausage.
    • In Total Destruction, the original three monsters, as well as the others, were test subjects for Scum Labs new product, Scum Soda.
  • World Tour: The monster destroy various cities. One game is even named with the trope!

Alternative Title(s):

Rampage World Tour