Video Game / Stranglehold
Captain Ed Lee: I told you to not go in alone!
Inspector Tequila Yuen
: I didn't. Brought my two friends.
Today, your blood will pay for everything!
— Mr. James Wong
A Hong Kong policeman is killed in what looks like a regular murder by The Triads and the Tongs
and it's a personal challenge
for Inspector "Tequila" Yuen
investigating the case. Before long, his star crossed love interest
Billie and her daughter Teko are kidnapped by a ruthless Russian crime syndicate
, too. Much Heroic Bloodshed
ensues.John Woo Presents Stranglehold
is a 2007 Third-Person Shooter
by Midway Games
that is both an affectionate pastiche of the classic Heroic Bloodshed
a sequel to the probably most famous example of the genre, Hard Boiled
. And it was produced with John Woo
participating, while Chow Yun-Fat reprises his role as Tequila. As you may have expected from that lineup, the game is much more about marrying Rule of Cool
to Rule of Fun
and trashing each next level
in impossibly awesome ways than anything else.
Recently, rumors have surfaced that John Woo will be directing a film adaptation of the game. Talk about full circle.
- As Himself: John Woo is credited "As Himself" in the end credits.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Mr. Wong
- Avenging the Villain: Mr. Wong is the father of Johnny Wong from Hard Boiled.
- Badass Grandpa: Mr. Wong is one hell of a villainous example. The guy single-hands a Sniper Rifle! Like, with one hand!
- A Barrett M82. Which isn't even meant for use against human targets.
- Badass in a Nice Suit/Cool Shades: Tequila himself during the Chicago missions.
- Battle Butler: Dapang.
- Big Bad Friend: Jerry, as Tequila finds out.
- Bling-Bling-BANG!: The Golden Gun.
- Boring, but Practical: The pistols.
- Boss Banter: Just about every one.
- Bottomless Magazines: Partly averted, as you have a limit on the total ammo... though it goes away, too, when you activate a Tequila Bomb.
- And although your ammo is finite, even if you run out, it's a simple matter of backtracking two steps and get the gun of some of the dozens of dead Mooks you will leave in your wake.
- The Brute: Dapang.
- Bullet Time: Partly automated.
- The Cake Is a Lie: Tequila's mission to rescue Billie from the Zakarovs turns out to be a ploy by Wong to eliminate his deadliest competition — and Wong has no intention of letting Tequila and Billie live happily ever after, or their daughter Teko for that matter because he is a bastard who wants Tequila to pay for the death of his son.
- Checkpoint Starvation: The game features some very long gunfight sequences with nary a checkpoint in sight.
- Cowardly Boss: Jerry.
- Cowboy Cop: Not surprising, since Tequila has been a prime example of this trope ever since Hard Boiled.
- Creator Cameo:
- John Woo is the bartender in an early level.
- He also runs a store to buy extra goodies, and is a playable multiplayer character.
- Cycle of Revenge: Every misery Wong has heaped upon Tequila and his family stems from Tequila's killing of Wong's only son, Johnny Wong, in Hard Boiled, which Tequila did because of everything Johnny had done all movie, including the killing of two of his partners — and once Wong turns Tequila's newest partner against him, has Billie murdered and kidnaps Tequila's daughter Teko, it becomes very personal for Tequila.
- Dirty Coward: Jerry.
"One of us is gonna die — and it ain't me!"
- Disturbed Doves: Does it even have to be mentioned?
- Hell, conjuring these out of nowhere, being on the dock or a luxury casino seems to be yet another of Tequila's powers of Awesomeness Is a Force.
- Dragons Up the Yin Yang: Wong's chamber has a giant jade dragon statue.
- Drink Order: Tequila has his name because his drink of choice is the Tequila Slammer. Lampshaded even.
- Every Car Is a Pinto
- Everything Breaks: Especially under a Barrage.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: The Spin Attack Tequila Bomb.
- Exploding Barrels
- Face–Heel Turn: Jerry.
- Going Native: Jerry.
- Good Old Ways/Honor Before Reason: Wong proudly presents himself this way to others. He's not.
- Grind Boots: One of the standard combat maneuvers.
- Guns Akimbo: Tequila does this with normal handguns, Golden Guns, and SMGs.
- And several of the bad guys do this as well, including the Elite Mooks, Dapang (who uses dual shotguns) and Jerry.
- The Gunslinger: Tequila. He combines Improbable Aiming Skills of the Trick Shot, More Dakka of the Vaporizer, the Gun Fu of the Woo, and is a master of Mexican Standoffs. Also, Jerry who was Tequila's student and is the Woo.
- Heroic Bloodshed
- Improbable Aiming Skills: The Precision Shot Tequila Bomb.
- Which results in graphic shots of the Mooks taking and suffering from the bullets. Gets specially hilarious when you go for a Groin Shot.
- It's Personal: All of it.
- Knife Outline: Tequila does that with bullets.
- Leap and Fire
- Limit Break: The Tequila Bombs.
- Mob War
- The Mole: Jerry was this for the good guys. But then he went native.
- More Dakka: Except for the Barrage Tequila Bomb, you also get to shoot a minigun at one point.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Wong orders one of these on Tequila in a flashback, one of several Kick the Dog moments that Wong pulls in the game.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: Mr. Wong's.
- Offing the Offspring: Poor Billie.
- One-Man Army: Tequila.
- Parental Marriage Veto: Mr. Wong.
- Respawning Enemies: Normally their respawns are limited.
- Rewarding Vandalism: Destroying stuff restores your Tequila Bomb meter.
- Rule of Cool: So does leaping, sliding and falling while killing mooks.
- Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: The Zakarovs. Though they pale in comparison to Wong's Dragon Claw.
- Senseless Violins: Guitar cases full of guns.
- Short-Range Shotgun: Averted. The shotgun's only real drawback is it's low ammo capacity.
- Shout-Out: A Penny Arcade strip about the game featured an achievement called "Testikill" for shooting enough mooks in the groin. When the game's DLC came out, this was made into an actual achievement.
- Spin Attack: When doves go flying, Tequila kills everyone in the manner most awesome to the most beautiful soundtrack you can imagine. Kinda like this.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Tequila and Billie.
- Take Cover: The game features a basic cover system, although most of the time you'll be jumping around in bullet time. And when you do take cover, because Everything Breaks, you can't stay there forever.
- The Syndicate: The Golden Kane, the Zakarov syndicate and Dragon Claw.
- Throw-Away Guns: When running out of ammo.
- Title Drop: Zakarov does it in his ultimatum to Wong, which Tequila only finds out the full details of after killing Jerry.
"Your stranglehold has lasted far too long."
- Trampled Underfoot: During Billie and Teko's kidnapping.
- The Triads and the Tongs: It wouldn't be a Hong Kong action game without them.
- Unstoppable Rage: The Barrage Tequila Bomb. Not only does everything go into slo mo, but Tequila is invulnerable, has endless ammo, and rapid fires - even with rocket launchers!
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Wong's Estate.
- Villainous Glutton: Dapang.
- White Suit of Death: Mr. Wong.
- Why We Can't Have Nice Things: It's really too bad about the Chicago History Museum.
- There's even an achievement for completely demolishing a dinosaur skeleton.
- Why Won't You Die?: Tequila provokes this reaction in Vlad.
"Dammit! What do I have to do to make you die?!"