Video Game: Shock Troopers
is a Vertical Scrolling
run 'n' gun Shoot 'em Up
game developed by Saurus
and published by SNK
for the Neo Geo
arcade platform in 1997. A sequel, Shock Troopers: 2nd Squad
, came out a year later. A third title was planned but never materialized.
The gameplay is similar to games like Commando and Ikari Warriors
In the first game, a Multinational Team
of eight commandos, each with different stats and special weapons, must fight against the evil forces of The Bloody Scorpion Group.
Their leader, the fearsome... Leader
, has kidnapped Cecilia, the daughter of a famous scientist, George, in order to force him to work for them. The player can choose only one of the commandos (and start with more health) or a team of three
(and have more combat options) to switch between on the fly. The game has three level routes and you are given the chance to switch from one to another mid-way through the game.
In 2nd Squad
, a less-ethnically-diverse (but more diverse in weapons and abilities then the first team) team of four commandos must fight against the evil forces of Dio International Corporation And the shadowy General behind them
, who are attempting to Take Over the World
. It loses the Tag Team
feature but gains more special weapon Power Ups
and adds Metal Slug
-style controllable vehicles.Relatively obscure
as far as Neo Geo
action games go though the first game has been making new fans since becoming available to download on the Wii and, more recently, the PlayStation
Store for PS3
and PSP. Both games feature two-player co-op.
Both games provide examples of:
- Action Girl: Many, thanks to a surprisingly gender-equal cast.
- Abnormal Ammo: A variety of color-coded enemy vehicles appear in 2nd Squad, some of which have weapons like chemical sprayers and net launchers. This also applies to some sub-weapons and power ups, like the Boomerang.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Mook uniform colors denote their combat abilities.
- Cool Guns: Every character in Shock Troopers has an M-16, as do Leon and Angel in 2nd Squad (Leon's has what appears to be an M203 Grenade Launcher) The first game's "Heavy" Power-Up is an M60 while the "3-Way" looks like a Barret Sniper Rifle. Lulu in 2nd Squad uses an MP 5. Mooks in 2nd Squad favor M P5s and G-36es, Elite Mooks have Desert Eagles.
- Deadly Gas: Gas grenades used by Maru and blue-unformed mooks in Shock Troopers, chemical-sprayer trucks in 2nd Squad.
- Do Not Do This Cool Thing: The first game is pretty fun, and the ending tries its best to avert this trope. Whether it succeeded or not is debatable. See the ending here. The second game is also fun, but an anti-war message pops up after the credits, which is just grating and hypocritical. See the ending here.
- Do Not Run with a Gun: Your character can shoot on the move, and should. Holding down the fire button allows you to continuously shoot in any of eight directions while moving about.
- Elite Mooks
- Emergency Weapon: Much like in Metal Slug, attacking an enemy at point-blank will activate a nasty melee attack. Kills in this manner are usually worth more points. Most of the first game's characters use knives, others just punch. Leon also uses a knife. Angel uses tear gas, Toy uses a taser, and Lulu just pops them in the face with a large revolver.
- Faceless Goons
- Fire Breathing Weapon: The Flame Power-Up. Mooks that wouldn't otherwise die in one hit anyway are often left paralyzed as they dance about in flames.
- Fragile Speedster: With the exception of Big Mama, female characters are always faster, but can take fewer hits.
- Grenade Launcher
- Heal Thyself: Health pickups abound. These take many forms, such as obvious medkits, but also food like bananas and the occasional Rice Ball.
- Innocent Bystander: Often seen fleeing for their lives or cowering in fear. D.I.C. troops in 2nd Squad are seen gunning them down in droves.
- Kill It with Fire: The above mentioned flame guns, as well as napalm grenades employed by Milky in Shock Troopers and Angel in 2nd Squad.
- Life Meter
- Macross Missile Massacre: Exhibited by airborne Bosses (helicopters and VTOL jets) as well as the Missile Launcher Power-Up.
- Money Spider: Enemies killed by melee attacks often drop point bonuses.
- Scoring Points
- Sliding Scale Of Linearity Versus Openness: Level 2. Shock Troopers has a choice of three routes with the option to switch routes mid-game. 2nd Squad has a simple level select at certain points.
- Spin to Deflect Stuff: The dodge button sends you into a roll or somersault, and gives you a precious second or two of invulnerability.
- Spiritual Successor: To Commando, Ikari Warriors, and other such free-moving vertical shmups.
- Spread Shot: The aptly-named "3-Way" PowerUp in the first game. Lulu's basic attack in 2nd Squad also is this, while Angel has a "wide shot" which hits in a column, without gaps in the spread like Lulu. A few characters in the first game, namely Southern Cross, Maru and Big Mama, had smaller "wide shots." 2nd Squad also has the "Round Charger", which fires in all eight directions.
Shock Troopers provide examples of:
2nd Squad provides examples of:
- Ambiguously Brown: Toy.
- Announcer Chatter: While it averts Engrish for the most part, it's still a bit awkward to the native ear.
- Attack Drone: Every time you destroy one of the gun pods on the Final Boss, it spawns one of these. If you don't deal with them quickly, they soon fill the screen with Beam Spam.
- Charged Attack: The vehicles trade in the "fixed shot" ability you have on foot for this. The tank has a standard charged blast, the truck has a Spin Attack and the Mini Mecha employs a two-fisted Rocket Punch.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Some of Toy's voice bites make him sound like this, though he's just easy-going.
- Code Name: Each character has one, part of which you can spell out with letter pickups for a bonus. Again, each also has a Special Weapon Of Choice.
- Crowning Music of Awesome: The first level's theme, World Wide Connection. The credits theme, Take Me Over, is also good.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Dio Nakatomi.
- Energy Weapon Toy again. His weapon is a brick-like rifle that fires Frickin' Laser Beams. A few enemies use these, but ballistics are the order of the day.
- Expy: Leon looks like a bulked-out Gordon Freeman.
- Hand Cannon: Used by several Elite Mooks. Notable in that they are literally bigger then the arms and heads of their users]
- Mega Corp.: With surprising amounts of military power and resources.
- Mini Mecha: The Mooks like to use these. Occasionally you can pilot one. They are equipped with dual gatling guns.
- Man Behind the Man: The coup de'tat was actually masterminded by an Evil Laugh prone, blonde, one-eyed General with a pair of Hand Cannons.
- Molotov Cocktail: The Mooks like to throw these.
- Ms. Fanservice: Angel.
- Name's the Same: D.I.C. does not stand for ''Diffusion, Information et Communication''.
- Non Standard Game Over: Unlike the rest of the game, being forced to use a continue during the Final Boss does not reset the level timer. Failure to destroy the boss in the allotted time will still cause the game to finish, but results in an alternate Ending Scroll that claims your character disappeared and is presumed dead.
- Quadruple Boss: One of the Stage 4's bosses consists of four modular tanks that can link-up for Combination Attacks.
- See You In The Underworld: Angel's Post-Mortem One-Liner.
- Super-Deformed: This game has a much more cartoony look then the first game, though retains the Family-Unfriendly Violence. Some fans disliked this Art Shift.
- Taking You with Me: Occasionally Mooks will attempt to suicide-bomb you. The General attempts to take the entire world with him using his Doomsday Device.
- Token Minority: Leon is French while the other three player characters are American.
- You Have Out Lived Your Usefulness: The General shoots Nakatomi in cold blood, blaming him for the coup de'tat's failure.
- Weaponized Landmark: After a fashion. The entire front facade of D.I.C. headquarters, including the bushes, conceals a startling array of More Dakka. Serves as the penultimate Boss Fight.