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Video Game: Tony Hawk's Underground

Hey, man, that run was bullshit. But in a good way.
-Bam Margera

Tony Hawk's Underground (commonly abbreviated as THUG) is a short series of two games that came between the classic THPS games and the rest of the series. It was the first in the series to feature an actual story line, and introduced the ability to get off your board and jump all over shit.

The first THUG was released for the PS2, GameCube, Xbox, and GBA, and followed the player character as they rise to stardom with their childhood friend, Eric Sparrow, then have a bitter falling out after Eric starts becoming jealous as the player character starts to leave Sparrow in his dust, before Eric gets drunk and hijacks a tank. It's funny, but still quite a bit Darker and Edgier and action-oriented than the rest of the series. A PC port also exists if you're Australian.

The second game, Tony Hawk's Underground 2: World Destruction Tour, focused on the titular World Destruction Tour, which is totally not similar to Jackass. The celeb skaters (Which are largely made up of people involved with Jackass) are divided in to two teams and do dangerous and stupid stunts for points. The player character in this game takes a back seat to celebrity slapstick shenanigans as the tour takes him or her all across the world, to 4 continents in total.

This sub-series provides examples of:

  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: You can play as Bigfoot in Underground 2.
  • Big Eater: Todd. When the player first meets him, he says he has to finish some hamburgers before he goes out to eat.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In 2, Paulie "Wheels of Fury" Ryan says this to a Spanish woman:
    Me grande chorizo es el jefe mamacita.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: When arriving in New Orleans in 2, Tony Hawk says this:
    Another town, another party. And ain't no party bigger than Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Drunks, idiots, and drunk idiots.
  • Butt Monkey: Eric Sparrow, and to a lesser extent, Bob Burnquist in 2. The same game also gives us Nigel Beaverhausen.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Eric Sparrow's primary characteristic in the first game.
  • Continuity Nod
    • In the player character's room in Underground, there's a poster of Daisy on the wall, a skater from Pro Skater 4. There's also a crude mockup version of her without her most memorable characteristic in the "Pre-Made Custom Skaters" section.
    • Ollie the Bum makes his final appearance in the series towards the beginning of Underground, although he looks and sounds much less comedic and much more like a cracked-out homeless person. And he's no longer "Magic".
    • Eric Sparrow is one of the pro skaters on Bam's team in Underground 2, but he doesn't play a major role. He's treated as the Butt Monkey throughout the game, with the player character and Sparrow switching teams for a level at one point. While the switch is in place, Hawk messages you saying that they need you back on the team because Sparrow just bailed and took out a brass band in the process (possibly killing the tuba player).
  • Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: When Underground 2 is installed on a Windows Vista or 7 computer, the games browser identifies it as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Eric Sparrow at the end of the story.
  • Five-Man Band: Tony's team in THUG 2
  • Flanderization: Bam Margera is, well... Bam Margera, only turned Up to Eleven.
    Bam: Tanks. Oh, tanks. Look at these tanks. [Later] It's so good, we can't go skating now, look at these tanks.
  • Fun with Acronyms: THUG. Followed by the perplexing THAW with American Wasteland.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • There's a sign in the Hawaii level in Underground that says "Yummy Weiners" and has a boy with a peculiar-looking hot dog in his mouth.
    • There's a porn movie theater in the Los Angeles level of the third game (recreated in Underground 2). If you couldn't guess it by the ambiguous movie titles on the marquee, the names of the gaps that involve it leave no shadow of doubt.
    • There's also a car near the strip club that is implied to have people having sex in it.
  • Groin Attack: At the end of the Boston level, Hawk's team have to lose a guy by having the team play Russian Roulette with a tennis ball launcher at crotch level.
  • Handicapped Badass: Paulie "Wheels of Fury" Ryan, who, despite being in a wheelchair and having casts all over most of his body, is still willing to kick and insult the player character.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here: The dialogue in the first THUG is cleverly written to avoid using the character's name but still seem fluid. In the second game, the player character is so unimportant to the story it doesn't really come up.
  • Idiot Ball: Eric keeps screwing the player character over at every single opportunity, yet the player character keeps forgiving him and asking him for help. It isn't until Eric frames the player character for grand theft tank and massive property damage, leaving him stranded in Moscow without a passport that they finally take the hint.
  • Interface Spoiler: Underground 2 has three:
    • The intro features random cutscenes from the game, including Bob Burnquist being kicked off of Team Hawk
    • The main menu is on the "Wheel of Loogies", which won't be introduced for quite a while after the game starts.
    • The credits video can be accessed at any time, but it features spoilers about the plot and objectives.
  • Karma Houdini: Eric in the first game, who after several attempts to get the player kicked off the team, finally succeeds in the Russian level when he runs off after drunkenly driving a tank and leaving the player locked in it to take the blame. He continues on gaining fame and money while the player has to work his way back home after being abandoned by the skate team. Granted, the player recovers from this and goes on to make a successful series of skating videos and even punch out Eric on the second play through the final challenge. But he never really does pay for the tank incident by the end. The second game however fixed this by including him on the losing side of the tour and constantly getting humiliated until he's eventually shipped off when it was time to out one of the skaters. Judging by his treatment from both fellow skaters and fans, his pro skating career has apparently become something of a joke.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Played with. The losing team of the World Destruction Tour has to foot the bill for all damages caused by both teams during the contest; and Nigel Beaverhausen (Writer-Producer-Director) tries to persuade them to let him film and release the footage of the tour, before resorting to doing it without their permission. Both Hawk and Margera agree to let Beaverhausen release the footage after he offers to foot the bill, once they find out the bill is $21,000,000 so far (they are in New Orleans when they make this agreement, with still one leg of the tour to go).
  • No Final Boss for You: At the end of the first game, Eric Sparrow turns up and taunts the player character with the tape of their Crowning Moment of Awesome from earlier in the game, which only Eric and the main character were witness to, before challenging the player to follow Eric's run across the entirity of the New Jersey level, whilst Eric is throwing things at you. Play through the game a second time, and as Eric pulls out the tape and starts taunting the main character, they just punch him out and take the tape.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: Averted, with one of the most developed plots that had so far ever been seen in a sports-oriented game, about two friends slowly growing to hate each other as each follows a different path to stardom. Many later games in the series have taken to including a solid story.
  • Nostalgia Level: Several courses from the first three games are unlockable.
  • Picked Last: In the sequel, before the World Destruction Tour starts, Tony and Bam Margera start picking their team members. Since the player is the least experienced of the pros they got (Bam even calls you a noob), the player is left as a last pick for Bam along with Paulie "Wheels of Fury" Ryan, a 10-year-old kid in a full-body cast riding a motor-powered wheelchair, who Bam picks over the player. Tony is forced to take the player in and prove Bam wrong for passing you up.
  • Planet Heck: The KISS concert in Underground
  • Retraux: One of the unlockable skaters in Underground 2 is Tony Hawk as he was depicted in Pro Skater 1, complete with pixelated textures.
  • Skate Heaven Is A Place On Earth: Naturally.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The "Star Wars Kid" can be found in a hidden room in 2.
    • The KISS concert in Underground.
  • The Smurfette Principle: If the player character is female, she will be the only prominent female character in Underground 2.
  • Smug Snake: Eric. Sparrow.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The end of the second game, so very much. It can effectively be summed up as something like this...
    Bam: Wow, Skatopia... LET'S BLOW IT UP!
  • Supporting Protagonist: The player character in Underground 2.
  • The Alleged Car: One goal in the New York level of Underground has the player intentionally trashing an old car so its owner can use the insurance money to buy new shoes.
  • The Other Darrin: Possible - The first game forced all created skaters to use the same voice (Although it changed depending on the gender) in the story mode; whilst the second game (Despite it being the same character) allowed the player to choose from a number of voices, including the voice from the previous game.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Every level in the first game has at least one driving mission. After it's completed, the player can drive the car whenever he wants.
  • Updated Re-release: Underground 2 's PSP port, Underground 2: Remix, includes four new levels.

You own the underground.

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alternative title(s): Tony Hawks Under Ground
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