Set in The Seventies during an oil crisis. A greedy conglomerate called OMAR (short for Oil Monopoly Alliance Regime) was buying up all the oil companies of the world and was on the way to being the only source for oil. However there was one country that was out of their grasp: The United States. To rectify this, OMAR hired a terrorist named Sid Burn to destroy any and all oil companies in the Southwest so that OMAR could swoop in and pick up the remains. Sid creates a gang known as the Coyotes, made up of crazy drivers bent on destruction, and terrorizes the Southwest with their armed vehicles. After one attack too many and no law enforcement to help them, a trucker named Convoy took matters into his own hands and organized a counter force known as the Vigilantes. After a raid on a military base, both sides wind up with weapons of mass destruction and the battle for the Southwest begins.Created by Activision, Vigilante 8 was a Spiritual Successor to Interstate '76 and their answer to the Twisted Metal franchise, and it proved to be no slouch in vehicular combat. Destructible stages that also brought along their own hazards, special moves for the regular weapons, a nice story (albeit rather tongue-in-cheek), mind-blowing music, and some very tight gameplay made it a great alternative to TM.Was later followed by a sequel, Vigilante 8: Second Offense. Slick Clyde, one of the original Vigilantes, has turned evil and gone to work for OMAR. Over the years, he rises through the ranks until he becomes CEO of the company, becoming known as Lord Clyde. However, the U.S is still out of OMAR's reach, which annoys Clyde to no end. So he steals an experimental time machine from Stanford and, along with two subordinates of his, travels back to the '70s to change history, starting with trying to off Convoy. The attack seemingly succeeds, and the Coyotes are re-created again. Convoy's niece Sheila and his widow Houston take up the mantle as the Vigilantes' new leaders to combat them. In the midst of this are the Drifters, who aren't affiliated with either side and just out for themselves.Included more new areas (as well as the originals you can unlock), characters, cars and weapons, as well as modification pick ups which allow you fly, float on water or add skis for more traction.The game also has a remake call Vigilante 8 Arcade for the X Box Live which improve the graphics and had a few of the sequel's elements.Vigilante 8 provides the following tropes:
Aliens Are Bastards: Toyed with - Y the Alien a.k.a. Garbage Man in 2nd Offense wants to Destroy All Humans!, but only because his friends were dissected by scientists. On the other hand, the player will definitely feel this way towards aliens when on the receiving end of Dave's special.
Cloudcuckoolander: Bob-O, the completely batshit insane astronaut that went on a rampage for God-knows-why and only speaks in grunts and hoots. That's because he's an escaped lab monkey.
Dave/Dave's Cultsmen as well.
Continuity Nod: At the end of the first game, Convy discards all of his accumulated weaponry, seeing no use for it anymore. This is what gets him killed in the opening to the second game, with Houston's story arc revolving around manipulating time travel to avert this.
Cool Car: All qualify, except for the trucks and buses.
Face-Heel Turn: In the sequel, Clyde, via Houston's mind control bracelet, which he found in the men's bathroom of a gas station at the end of the first game. He was a self-absorbed Jerk Ass who was only helping the Vigilantes for personal glory before that, but this is when he truly turns evil.
Flyover Country: Pretty much the first game's entire setting, save for a secret military base and a small casino town. Heck, even the California levels in both games were just a Central Valley farm (in the first) and the Port of Long Beach (in the second).
Heel-Face Turn: Houston broke free of her mind control bracelet at the end of the first game which Clyde later found in the men's bathroom of a gas station and married Convey in the 2nd game. Obake works for the Coyotes throughout the whole of the 2nd game, but chooses to overthrow Clyde and change the future by removing all the polluting industry and replacing them with green power sources such as solar panels and wind generators.
In 2nd Offense, Convoy's special attack is "Rolling Thunder", essentially the blasting of the truck's air horns to knock enemies back. However, it can disable the hover pods, skis, and propellers, and it knocks enemies very far back into other hazards - if you're unlucky, light cars will be thrown nearly clear of the map.
In the first game, his special is an improvised explosive device called the Steel-Belter, a spare tire packed with TNT.
Ditto for the Garbage Man, who uses the truck's compactor; doesn't have great range, but if it connects, it will do some serious damage, especially for compact cars, which get sent into the back of the truck to be smashed even more by the internal compactor.
Molo's special attack in both games is... a tailpipe that generates excess smog and has farting sound effects. Weak, right? Well, try backing into somebody and using it right on top of them. It'll shred their health bar in seconds.
Time Police: Agent R. Chase, though of a more ad hoc style than usual.
Time travel is a privilege, not a right!
Tomato Surprise: Bob-O and the Garbageman, who turn out to be a lab monkey and Y the Alien from the first game. It's pretty obvious if you pay attention to their character select screens, various grunts and noises from them, and win quotes.