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Videogame: Arm A

Czech game developer Bohemia Interactive Studios' Spiritual Successor to their successful and legendary Operation Flashpoint series. Unlike the original, these installments take place in Present Day and Next Sunday A.D. time frames, not the Cold War. The basic premise and game design philosophy of making a well-researched, true-to-life and unrelentingly realistic simulation of everyday military life is still there though. As is the practice of using various fairly funny (and Reference Overdosed) Ruritanias as the setting for the games' campaigns and missions.

The story behind the conception of ARMA was one of a painful birth: After finishing their work on Operation Flashpoint, the developer Bohemia Interactive Studio and publisher Codemasters had a major falling out and split ways. BIS took the rights to the Real Virtuality engine, Codemasters got the rights to the name. BIS has since released three sequels based on this engine, ARMA: Armed Assault (Combined Operations in North America), ARMA II, and ARMA III, while Codemasters developed its own "official" sequel, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising. Essentially, the BIS sequels closely resemble the original, except they have much better graphics and improved gameplay, while Dragon Rising feels, well, different from the original Flashpoint, and a lot of old veterans seem to think that it suffers from New and Improved Syndrome.

The second game of the series and its expansion, Operation Arrowhead, had a surge of popularity thanks to the DayZ mod, which requires both.

Works within this series:

  • ARMA: Armed Assault / Combat Operations (2007): Spiritual Successor and de-facto sequel to Operation Flashpoint, developed by BIS (the original developers of Operation Flashpoint), using an updated engine called Real Virtuality 2 (RV2). Arm A: Cold War Assault takes place on the fictional island of Sahrani, divided between two nations: the Democratic Republic of Sahrani in the north, and an oil rich (and US backed) Kingdom of South Sahrani. The US forces have been training the South Sahrani military and are just starting to leave (in a trend of the series in which a predominantly US force prepares to leave a destabilized country only to get caught in the fighting; see ArmA III). You see where this is going. With most of the US military gone, the North invades the South and a few remaining US soldiers get caught in the middle of it, and they then aid the South in defeating the North.
    • Queen's Gambit: A modest expansion pack, containing a small new island and a new campaign.
  • Virtual Battlespace 2 (2007): Bohemia Interactive Simulations' Real Virtuality engine, and the Armed Assault game based on it, were so successful and lauded as so realistic that this warranted an update to the game engine (VBS2 used RV2), also sold to the same real military organizations as VBS; in 2012 VBS2 2.0 was released, based on the RV3 engine used by ARMA 2.
  • ARMA II (2009): The successor to Armed Assault, based on the Real Virtuality 3 engine. It takes place in South Zagoria, a province of a destabilizing Ruritania called Chernarus. The current, US-aligned government is desperately fighting a war against communist rebels called the ChDKZ. Of course, the USA intervenes to save the failing government forces and launches attacks on the ChDKZ. After a bombing in Moscow -which the rebels blame on a group of anti-ChDKZ guerrillas called the National Party- the Kremlin steps up and tells the US to leave. Not wanting to risk all out war, they do so, and the Russians, under the flag of the UN, deploy into the region, but in a reoccurring trope, the player's squad Razor Team is left behind in the confusion, and is now stuck trying to prove the Red Square bombing was actually a false flag op. by the rebels.
    • Operation Arrowhead (release date June 29, 2010): A standalone expansion pack set in a new country, with new locations and a new campaign; it can be installed into the ARMA 2 directory (or run with ARMA 2 through Steam) to allow for a "Combined Operations" install where both games' content are accessible through the OA client. It is set in Takistan, and the plot is a blatant expy of the The War on Terror. Basically, the dictator of Takistan is said to have nuclear weapons, so the US invades and occupies it.
    • British Armed Forces (release date August 29, 2010): DLC expansion pack and sequel to Operation Arrowhead, with British Armed Forces playable.
    • Private Military Company (release date November 30, 2010): DLC expansion pack and sequel to British Armed Forces, with a deeper storyline and a moral choice.
    • Army of the Czech Republic (release date August 1, 2012): A DLC expansion pack for a Combined Operations install (that is, both ARMA 2 and Operation Arrowhead must be installed) that adds Czech military small arms and vehicles, two new 'maps' ("terrains"), a new fifteen-mission single-player campaign, new premade scenarios and more Editor scenario templates.
  • VBS Worlds (2011): This iteration of the VBS engine was developed by BIS in partnership with Caspian Learning and is oriented towards civilian education: water purification unit maintenance, cultural sensitivity training, etc.
  • ARMA: Cold War Assault (2011): A free Remake (or refurbishing if you will) mega patch for the original Operation Flashpoint, released in celebration of the game's 10th anniversary by the developers. Because of the whole legal debacle with Codemasters, applying this patch to an installed copy of OFP will rename the game to ARMA : Cold War Assault. NOTE : Please don't confuse the original Operation Flashpoint with the ARMA series proper - it's only a predecessor and set in the same universe, but otherwise completely separate. The new title is there only because BIS can't release the patch under the original name of the game, since it's now owned by Codemasters. The synopsis is that there are some islands, one of which is run by the Soviets, one by the US, and the last is independent. Guba, the commander of the Russian forces, wants to remove Gorbechav from power, so he schemes to get the US and the USSR in a war. He uses his forces to invade the independent island, and defeat counterattacking US forces. You have to prevent a World War.
  • Take On Helicopters (2011): This RV3-powered game is about piloting helicopters, and takes place within the ARMA-verse ("Armaversum").
  • Take On Mars (2013): This game is about customizing and controlling a drone on Mars to do scientific missions and make a profit. Unlike all other publicly-released VBS & RV-engine games so far, Take On Mars is nonviolent and has no physical conflict against other living things.
  • ARMA III (2013): Announced for a summer 2012 release (subsequently pushed back to winter 2012 then to 2013, where it was finally released after a long Alpha and Beta) and using the Real Virtuality 4 (RV4) engine, this game extends the ARMA gameplay with underwater operations (scuba diving, etc.), and other features. It features Israeli military equipment (such as the Merkava tank), US Future Warrior equipment, and the military of a resurgent Iran. It takes place on the two Mediterranean islands of Altis and Stratis (based of real life Lemnos). There has just been a bloody civil war followed by, of course, NATO intervention. NATO trains and equips the Altis Armed Forces (AAF) but prepares to leave after the Altisian government starts getting backing by CSAT (a coalition of Eastern countries led by a resurgent Iran) and their mandate comes to an end. But as NATO starts leaving their bases on the island of Stratis, things go awry as the AAF suddenly attacks the NATO forces. It is then a desperate struggle to hold back the AAF and get in contact with the rest of NATO with only a small, battered force. It is later revealed that CSAT is helping to provoke the attacks.
  • Arma Tactics (2013): A spinoff developed in the Unity 3D engine. It has nothing in common with the main ARMA series except for visuals and voice acting.

For the Codemasters created follow-up and competitor, see Operation Flashpoint - Codemasters.

NOTE: Many of the tropes listed on the page of its direct predecessor also apply to this series.

The ARMA series features the following tropes:

  • A.K.A.-47: In a rather hilarious example, the British Armed Forces in Operation Arrowhead get the Offroad vehicle, a Hand Over Offender. Totally not a Land Rover Defender. ARMA 3 takes this further by having as few proper names of anything as possible, although interestingly enough quite a few of those are officially described as being descendants or successors — or even a ripoff, in the case of the Zafirnote  — of the originals.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Practically a staple of the series. The AI is pretty abysmal. Pathfinding is always an issue, and the AI often takes very... odd routes to waypoints. AI squadmates under your control rarely follow orders, stopping every 5 feet to pick their nose (or whatever they are doing). AT soldiers don't seem to have much awareness as to where you are, and will usually blow up a vehicle you are standing right next to and are trying to blow up with explosives. They also get immensely confused in tight spaces, which is something of a leftover from Operation Flashpoint. In truth, the AI has evolved little with each engine change.
    • ARMA II has problems with waypoint finding, and requires some tweaking for patrolling soldiers to acknowledge that their comrades are suddenly dying from your own sniper shots.
    • ArmA III is host to many of these issues, but it is far more noticeable in the Zeus game mode. What may have seemed like artificial brilliance as a soldier on the ground is now shattered and shown as the AI bugging out tremendously as you can now see them from overhead. Soldiers never follow Zeus' orders once they get locked into combat, and once they are locked in the only way to get them out is by having every enemy soldier die and having them sound the "all clear".
  • Attack Drone: Arma 3 offers many opportunities for violent robotic mayhem in fixed-wing, rotorcraft and landborne flavours.
  • Australian Slang: Dixon from ARMA II: Private Military Company is an Aussie who names his gun "Matilda".
  • Bilingual Bonus: Where to begin, where to begin...
    • In ARMA II, the occupying Chedaki force speaks faux Russian, while the native Chernarussian inhabitants speak faux Czech, including names and voiceovers: A Chernarussian officer named Lt. Tomáš Marný ("Thomas Hopeless", or even more literally "that's hopeless" in Czech), a civilian named Pepa Zdepa ("Joe from-the-Depot"), etc. You may occasionally hear Chernarussian civilians say things like "Potím se jak vrata vod chlíva..." ("I'm sweating like a cowshed gate...").
    • Apart from that, most if not all of the names of Chernarussian towns and landmarks are of Russian origin. The castle hill "Zub" means literally "Tooth", the peninsula "Golova" is translated as "Head" (and both are just two of many anatomic names in Chernarus). Other names are the "Pobeda" Dam (the "Victory" Dam), and "Stary Sobor" and "Novy Sobor" ("Old Church" and "New Church"). The two major cities of Zagoria (which itself loosely translated means "Behind-The-Mountain(s)-ia"), Chernogorsk and Elektrozavodsk, can be loosely translated as "Black-Mountain-sk" and "Electric-Power-Plant-sk". Former of whom is a tribute to the country's name of Chernarus (lit. "Black Rus", which itself is a parody of the name of Belarus, aka "White Rus").
    • In ARMA 3, there is a tactical vest that reads "Greek police", while the OPFOR faction officer's revolver is a Chiappa Rhino under the name Zubr... which is Czech for bison... although also Arabic slang for a phallus.
    • Also, "arma" is both the Latin term for "weapon" and the in-universe codename for "armed assault".
  • Bohemians With Bombers: The series is made by a Czech studio. See below for details.
  • Brits with Battleships: The BAF expansion pack adds them to ArmA II as a BLUFOR besides the Americans, as well as a separate campaign for some Royal Lancers. Its protagonist, Frost, continues his career in Private Military Company.
    • In 3, there are British NATO peacekeepers stationed on Altis and Stratis alongside the Americans, as the islands are former British colonies. When the AAF turn against NATO in the campaign, it is Royal Navy special forces operativesnote  that try to rally the scattered US peacekeepers on Stratis, functioning as the protagonist's Mission Control.
  • Canon Welding: Shares the same Like Reality Unless Noted fictional universe with the original Operation Flashpoint series.
  • Civil War: The basic backstory behind most installments is that you're a foreign soldier helping restore peace and some semblance of order in war-torn countries. This is different from Operation Flashpoint, where most plots involved Cold War espionage and False Flag Operation invasions of defenceless countries... and given another twist in 3 when the government faction turns on the protagonist's faction.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Pretty much this from Tanny.
  • Continuity Nod: A lot towards Operation Flashpoint, its various characters, events and locales - courtesy of both series taking place in the same mildly fictional Alternate Universe, complete with the Arma 3 main menu theme music being a remake of Operation Flashpoint's theme music.
  • Crew of One: Averted, like in the original OFP; you need both a driver and a gunner at the very least to properly operate armoured fighting vehicles of any kind, while the commander's movement controls are the same as the driver's, albeit corresponding to said verbal orders. Unfortunately they can become even more repetitive than the infamous Mad Libs Dialogue, so in missions with waypoints the unit orders menu does include "Next waypoint" in its movement submenu.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: An odd one, but the SDAR is an underwater assault rifle in 5.56 x 45 mm that can accept both regular and special underwater ammo, making it the only firearm in the game that can fire underwater, which could have made it the most versatile... were said underwater ammo not next-to-useless above waternote . It doesn't help that it took until a later update for the weapon to have ranges beyond a fixed 30 meter zeronote , and even then it's unable to accept any attachments... discounting the TRG series' fixed sights being zeroed at only 100 meters, the SDAR is essentially the worst of the assault rifles at almost anything except shooting divers while both of you are underwater.
  • Developer Appeal: One of the factions included in Operation Arrowhead is the Czech 601st Special Forces Group, and the third/final of the ARMA II DLCs is named "Army of the Czech Republic". Ironically though, it's noticeably the least polished and low-effort of the three.
    • The developer behind the Zeus DLC also is known to be a fanboy of the RAH-66 Comanche helicopter — which made it into Arma 3 despite its real-world cancellation, renamed the AH-99 Blackfoot.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Perfected even more since the time of OFP. ARMA II makes it impossible to shoot while running, as your character will start a jogging animation after moving for a second with their arms being occupied - to shoot while moving, you must either aim down your weapon sights (limiting your character to walking speed like many shooter games) or hold the walk button so that your character can "hipfire"; even then, there's considerable weapon/crosshair bobbing, so you don't get a stable point of aim unless the character is stationary.
    • Tweaked in ARMA 3, where you can't sprint/run with a raised gun but you can do a "combat pace" jog with your weapon raised... not much faster than the walk and the most fatigue-building short of sprint, but the closest ever in the series to other shooters' "hipfire" movement speed.
  • Downloadable Content: An odd example would be ARMA II: Operation Arrowhead (itself a standalone expansion) having British Armed Forces and Private Military Company; OA already has the character types and weapons used in the DLC, but they have low-quality textures and sound quality, so BAF and PMC are not just additional campaigns (one each) but also higher-quality textures and sounds for their characters/weapons that' are already in OA (the exception is the XM8, which seems to be the standard weapon system of the PMC faction, but was already in the game as far back as ARMA II).
    • In a rather Base Breaking moment, when it was revealed that the official SP campaign for ARMA 3 would not be finished in time for the scheduled September 12th release and that said release date was immutable, meaning that the game would ship/launch without an official campaign... the announcement that the campaign (or rather, three mini-campaigns) would be delivered as free DLC didn't help at all.
  • Earthquake Machine: In Arma 3's Win campaign episode, the Device is heavily implied to be this.
  • Fackler Scale of FPS Realism: In some cases, even higher than in Operation Flashpoint (which is saying something). Of course, several mods exist to tweak these values, and BIS has promoted the ability to "zero" scopes in Operation Arrowhead so that they will account for bullet drop - that is, adjust the scope so that point of aim will equal point of impact - at the specified distance.
    • Zeroing is included in Arma 3 by default, albeit only iron sights, certain 'sniping' scopes and the red dot sight on the underbarrel grenade launchers are adjustable — other collimators/reflex sights and 'rifleman' scopes have a fixed zero, albeit unlike Arma 2 that distance is now displayed in the weapon HUD.
  • Faction Calculus: Similar to its predecessor, the games typically feature 3 factions in the gameplay, usually with different gear at their disposal. Although it is somewhat lessened due to the fact that the games use real factions and vehicles (even ArmA III despite its futuristic setting, as most of the vehicles and weapons are just rebrandings or updates of existing ones)
    • In ArmA II it went like this:
      • The US forces are Powerhouse, Russia and the CDF qualify as Balanced, and the ChDKZ are subversive. For Operation Arrowhead, US is again powerhouse, the Takistani military is Balanced, and the Insurgents are subversive.
    • In ArmA III it is a bit muddier, as the three main factions (NATO, AAF, and CSAT) all have equal vehicle equivalents, but roughly speaking NATO is more of a Balanced Cannons (because of their better artillery), CSAT is Balanced Powerhouse (Arguably better helicopter gunships and AF Vs), AAF is Balanced, and FIA is Subversive, although as stated this is a very loose interpretation and for the most part the factions are on equal footing compared to ArmA II.
  • A Father to His Men: Brian Frost from the British Armed Forces and Private Military Company DLC expansions says that the troops he was commanding were like sons to him.
  • First-Person Ghost: Following in the footsteps of Operation Flashpoint, this is averted. In ARMA II and its expansion, the TrackIR device essentially adds a motion-based control option for free look.
  • For Massive Damage: It's more than possible to defeat some vehicles using just small arms; for example, a helicopter can be forced into a crash landing by shooting out either of its rotors.
  • Game Master: Introduced with the Zeus free DLC for Arma 3, multiplayer missions created with Zeus support (by placing a module in the Editor) can have a player in the role of "Zeus", either alongside or separately from other players; in the latter mode s/he can't exit the interface but isn't represented in the game worldnote  and is therefore invulnerable.
  • Game Mod: Has a very dedicated worldwide modding community that can already rival that of the original Operation Flashpoint, and some mods are even direct descendants of Operation Flashpoint versions!
    • The by-far most famous and possibly most influential of all though is the Zombie Apocalypse mod called DayZ... it's about as realistic as a zombie-infested, fictional Eastern European country can get, single-handedly caused a spike in ArmA II sales, and its modder (a contractor who did mo-cap/MP mission design for Arma 3) was hired and made project lead of a standalone game version of the mod. Ironically, he initially kept his involvement in the project under wraps from his Bohemia Interactive co-workers, feeling that the subject matter was embarrassingly unlike what the company was known for.
  • Gun Porn: Thanks to various addons, the games can include everything from Gauss Rifles, G11s, and Pulse Rifles. The basic list of the firearms already present in the vanilla version of the game is also pretty extensive; a lot of the Arma 2 list consisted of variants with attachments though (i.e. M16A4, M16A4 ACOG, M16A4 M203), while the weapons list in Arma 3 is smaller due to its mostly modular attachment systemnote .
  • High-Tech Hexagons: The CSAT faction in Arma 3 is seriously obsessed with hexagons: its logo is a hexagon made of smaller hexagons, and its vehicles even adopt a hexagonal camo pattern, which overall contrasts the plainer colour schemes of NATO gears.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Averted. And played straight in ARMA II: Operation Arrowhead. Kinda sorta...
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Averted. As in OFP, you can only carry as much equipment, weaponry and ammo as your webbing or backpack allowsnote . Too big or heavy weapons take up a far bigger slotnote  than a combination of several smaller ones and they also slow you down a little if you're running.
  • I Call It "Vera": Dixon's aforementioned "Matilda".
  • Instant Death Bullet: Averted - unless you get shot point-blank in the head. You can die very easily, in just a few shots, but you usually only get injured in certain parts of your body, which affects your overall combat abilities. Getting shot in the legs makes you unable to walk.
  • In-Universe Marketing: Several good examples (i. e. AAN News Online), but the viral marketing of the first ARMA game via a fictional blog of an in-game character takes the cake... There's also a hefty dose of Continuity Nod towards Operation Flashpoint in all these Viral Marketing materials (to nearly Continuity Porn levels).
  • Joke Character: There is a T-34 tank available in ARMA IIs Armory and Editor (in the case of the Editor, as it's an armored vehicle of the NAPA faction).
    • This accounts also for the WWI era Sopwith Camel biplane included in ArmAnote , which is quickly gunned down even by handguns and mainly serves for fun dogfights in multiplayer; ditto for the DC-3, a classic airliner.
    • With plenty of mods installed, you can quickly turn various WWII and Vietnam-era factions into this. Have fun pitting Nazis with KAR-98s and nothing more than the uniforms on their backs against US Special Forces with SCAR-Hs, XM8s and body armor.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Brian Frost (protagonist of ARMA II: British Armed Forces and Private Military Company) becomes this, fully succumbing to cynicism by the time of PMC, and in Take On Helicopters he's implied to have participated in the cover-up with Mark Reynolds by assassinating UN inspectors, and moved on to become a head of operations for the ION PMC.
  • La Résistance: ARMA II uses guerrillas as both enemies (the "Chedaks" faction of Chernarus) and potential allies (the troops of the "National Party", aka NAPA). You spend most of the campaign fighting irregular troops, unlike previous installments, where you mostly fought organized soldiers.
    • In ARMA 3, there's the FIA, a CIA/SIS-backed resistance group on Altis fighting the Iranian presence.
  • Mad Libs Dialogue: Armed Assault's and ARMA II's radio voiceovers of the individual soldiers kind of inherited this quality from Operation Flashpoint. Naturally, the somewhat unnatural sounding style of the voiceovers is caused by the daunting task of having to record each possible combination of a voiceover line separately (it would take ages and require thousands of voice files). There are some community-made mods in the works for replacing the original voice files with better dubbed ones, and ARMA 3 has done a little to smooth it out, though it's still there to a point.
  • Meaningful Name: In the first campaign mission of ArmA II, you and your squad are ordered to mark an enemy communication centre in the remote coastal town of Pusta for aerial bombardment. In the process, you will find that the rebels who occupied the town, massacred most of the townsfolk, and ditched them in mass graves on the outskirts. Now, for everyone who speaks Russian, the town's name foreshadows this unfortunate turn of events - as Pusta means "Empty" in Russian.
  • MacGuffin: The third Arma 3 campaign episode WIN has "the Device".
  • Męlée ŕ Trois: The scenario editor in both games (including Operation Flashpoint) makes it possible to deliberately invoke this - the Independents can be allied with either the BLUFOR, OPFOR, neither, or neutral.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Although the series takes place in a somewhat Alternate Universe version of our own, so ongoing events like the War On Terror are quite different there even at the same time.
  • Nintendo Hard: You'll have to do your best imitating Real Life military tactics to win the game, and no one ever says their jobs are easy. ARMA 3 takes it up a notch with its tutorialsnote  oftentimes being insane one-man commando missions, such as the Night showcase... where you're tasked with single-handedly causing as much havoc (specifically "going loud") and building destruction as possible all by your lonesome self without nightvision goggles.
  • No Arc in Archery: All the rocket/recoilless weapons for some reason (they were realistic in Operation Flashpoint).
    • Averted with vengeance for unguided rockets in Arma 3.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Averted somewhat in Arma 3, where you get to play a CSAT gunship pilot in a couple of Showcases.
  • One Bullet Clips: Averted, as in Operation Flashpoint. After reloading, magazines with bullets left are put back in the player's inventory and can be reloaded again later, at any time.
    • The realism-enhancing ACE II mod makes this worse, in a way - besides the fire mode selection, it removes the ammo counter from the GUI. The Reload action will inform you how heavy the magazine "feels" and that's all the info you get about the amount of ammo left... Unfortunately, the default ARMA II action for sitting down had to be removed from the ACE II mod's gameplay due to this.
  • Orphaned Series: The first ARMA game (a.k.a. Armed Assault) eventually became this when BIS decided not to create any more official content for it and moved on to produce a more polished and improved sequel. Many fans and reviewers felt that this was fairly justified, since the game was still too much like the original OFP, despite implementing several new features and technical improvementsnote . The fact that some of the new stuff was often pretty buggy to begin with and not always well thought out (particularly the implementation of actual tall grass for stealth and the oft overcompetent enemy AI) all added to the game prematurely fading in popularity and not gaining as big a modder base as OFP or ARMA II. The sequel was also launched less than two years after AA, so most of the fanbase made the hop to ARMA II fairly quickly. On the other hand, given how buggy ARMA II was on release (and still is to some extent), the problems are not completely endemic to Armed Assault.
  • People's Republic of Tyranny: The Democratic Republic of Sahrani (DRS) in ARMA: Armed Assault. The DRS also has elements of a stereotypical Banana Republic. In ARMA II, Chernarus used to be this, and some of the in-game factions would like if it stayed that way.
  • Persians with Pistols: One of the five factions in ARMA IIInote  wielding both indigenousnote  and Russian gear, generally named for Islamic figuresnote , with the exception of the officers' toting the Chiappa Rhino, renamed the Zubr... which is both Czech for "bison" and Arabic slang for phallus.
  • Private Military Contractors: The subject of the Private Military Company DLC.
  • Psycho for Hire: Dixon in ARMA II: Private Military Company. He even suggests shooting at US Army soldiers to expedite some processes.
  • Qurac: Takistan in ARMA II : Operation Arrowhead.
  • Red Scare: ARMA: Armed Assault has you fighting the Commie-ish Democratic Republic of Sahrani, which is invading its southern neighbor, the Kingdom of Sahrani. ARMA II pits you against Commie rebels in Chernarus and even brought back the Russians, though of the modern day non-Communist flavour.
  • Real-Time Strategy: Not only is there at least one Arma 2 mod that allows this, but the Zeus DLC for Arma 3 was confirmed to support "Zeus vs. Zeus", and the basic Zeus system already involves a Resources bar that can regenerate at different rates if at all, and objects (characters, vehicles, modules, etc.) costing a certain amount of Resources to place.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: The description for any M16A4 with an attached M203 in Arma 2 reads "Assault rifle with grenade luncher".
    • There's also multiple typos in some of the scripting commands and config parameters under the hood, such as Arma 2 having at one point "[IncomingMisslieDetectionSystem]".
  • Ruritania: The Kingdom of Sahrani Island from the first ARMA game played this trope fairly straight, being a stereotypical Mediterranean-esque monarchy. It's adversary is the aforementioned People's Republic of Tyranny in the northern half of the island, which broke away from the kingdom a few years ago. If you succeed in beating the main campaign, you can defeat the Democratic Republic of Sahrani and help restore the original united kingdom.
  • Russians with Rusting Rockets: Actually subverted pretty well. Garrisons of the Russian Federation spread across the Chernarussian border do use equipment and vehicles descended from Soviet-era ones, but all of these are more modern versions of the older kits. All in all, the Russian soldiers have pretty decent gear, even carrying around exclusively newer assault rifles from the Kalashnikov family (like the AN-94 Abakan or AK-107) - while in Real Life, these are still not as widespread in the Russian army as the gradually phased-out AK-74.
  • Semper Fi: The default ARMA II campaign stars a Force Reconnaissance team, and therefore the USMC are the default "BLUFOR" for the game - hence Marine Corps weapons, Marine Corps vehicles and so on.
  • Shout-Out: Private Hudson asks how can he get out of this chickenshit outfit.
  • Sighted Guns Are Low Tech: Back in the day, Operation Flashpoint was one of the first games to thoroughly avert this. ARMA does the same : Your sights are better for aiming than your small on-screen crosshair, and if you ramp up the realism by turning off said crosshair, you can only aim with your sights (or scopes). Some weapons even come with dual sights (backup iron sights or small collimators atop the scope tube for use at close-range or with night vision) although by Arma 3 this is actually more common than not, and the October 31st 2013 "Survive" update actually added two pistols with collimators of their own!
  • Simulation Game: And a very Wide Open Sandbox one at that. You can do anything from fighting on foot, to driving cars and tanks or flying helicopters and other aircraft... or just walk around the country and the settlements, talk to civilians, etc. Oh, and in Arma 2, there's also a free-roaming mode that allows you to play as any of the local animals. So the game is also the first rabbit simulator for the PC!
  • Schizo Tech/Anachronism Stew: The scenario editor in Arma 2 makes it possible to deliberately invoke this - a scenario can be set to take place anywhere between 1990 and 2015 (ramped up to 1980-2020 with Operation Arrowhead), but setting it as early as possible doesn't make it any less possible to fly an F-35B or MV-22, or shoot a G36C or XM8. ArmA III pushes it to an extreme, where not only can the editor be set anywhere from 2000 to 2050, but mods can allow you to pit World War II T-34's against modern (and future!) military equipment, like the T-100 Varsuk (based off of T-95s and the "Black Eagle" concept tank)
  • The Stoic: In Arma 2, all characters in-game show no emotions (no eyebrow movement) at all, entering deep into the Uncanny Valley when they are supposed to be smiling, laughing, crying, etc.
  • Surveillance Drone: In Arma 2: Combined Operations there are three drones available, four with the addition of Private Military Company. This is extended in Arma 3 with automated turrets, the unarmed quadrotor UAV, a UGV called the Stomper and the fixed-wing Greyhawk UAV, both of which have both armed and unarmed versions.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: You can swim pretty well, in contrast to the original series, where getting completely submerged for more than 10-15 seconds meant insta-death. Even this is handled realistically - swimming for too long will cause any weapons carried on your back to slip off and disappear.
    • Averted in ARMA III, for soldiers diving without a rebreather.
  • Take That: At Codemasters for Dragon Rising. From an in-universe interview at "AA News Online" (for ARMA II: Operation Arrowhead):
    Ivan Ruce: It seems pretty obvious to me that no one wants to see a Flashpoint Rising in the Green Sea Region.
    • The mission editing reference wiki uses the killing of Sponge Bob Square Pants for examples.
    • A funny 'coincidence', the seemingly Greek-modeled AAF turning on the supposed-to-be-departing NATO peacekeepers in a game made by a dev team whose creative director and environmental lead spent four months in Greek jail on account of alleged espionage...
  • Tank Goodness: Received a slight nerf in Operation Arrowhead, where vehicles' "health" is by component instead of as a whole - so it'll be possible to "mobility kill" or "mission kill," i.e. by damaging the treads on either side or the turret, respectively.
  • Tempting Fate: The first Arma 3 campaign mission "Drawdown" begins with the NATO NPCs that Cpl. Kerry encounters sounding rather derogatory about the prowess of the indigenous military, the Altian Armed Forces, with multiple references to them as "Greenbacks" and Sgt. Adams being particularly negative even when they're within possible earshot. Problem is, the AAF aren't going to wait for NATO to leave and are all too happy to push 'em out... and very early into the second mission Adams trips a land mine — quite possibly planted by the AAF — forcing Kerry to hike it to the rendezvous point solo after Adams' death.
    • The Bootcamp mini-campaign reveals that Adams had been hating on the AAF for about a year by Drawdown.
  • The Verse: The devs have recently started referring to the setting by the (somewhat more Czech-sounding) term "ARMAversum" as well as "the Armaverse". Given the continuity, OFP's setting belongs under the umbrella term as well. An overview of the setting's timeline is available here.
    • The devs confirmed that their helicopter sim Take On Helicopters takes place in the Armaverse as well, with one of the characters having been a combat pilot around the time of Operation Arrowhead, while Vrana Corp and ION makes cameo appearances; notably, Take On Helicopters implies by Brian Frost's return that his killing of Dixon, ambushing the UN investigators and participating in the cover up is the canonical ending of Private Military Company.
  • Universal Ammunition: Averted. You can only use magazines for two different weapons if they are of the same design family and use the exact same ammo.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Averted. Enemy Exchange Program is in full force and you can borrow any enemy equipment if you're out of your own or running low on it. Just be careful if you're playing multiplayer, as making the same sound as enemy weapons can lead to friendly fire or at least wasting time sorting things out.
    • The exception to the aversion is in ARMA 3 where BLUFOR and OPFOR characters can't use opposing faction uniforms... although civilians can.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: When Armed Assault came out, one of the much-touted new features was the ability to use tall grass for stealthy incursions into enemy territory. Sadly, this only started properly working once the game got properly patched - until then, players had severe problems with aiming at enemies while lying in the grass and the enemy soldiers had Improbable Aiming Skills thanks to an annoying bug. Guess how that ended for most players while they were trying to be sneaky?
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Civilians frequently appear in the missions, and hurting them usually does not affect the mission. Also, in any mission with the Simple First Aid module, you can repeatedly shoot your allies with no ill effects.
    Sykes: Cease fire goddamnit!
  • Villain of Another Story: In Take On Helicopters it's implied that the "coverup" ending of PMC was canonical, as Brian Frost has become head of operations for ION, so after a supply flight by Larkin Aviation on behalf of ION's parent corporation goes sour, the Larkin brothers pick up Frost and give him "a shaky ride" until he talks.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Tanny in Arma II: Private Military Company. The protagonist explicitly refers to bars in Glasgow when speaking of Tanny.
  • Virtual Training Simulation: It's being added to Arma 3, as part of the Bootcamp Update, in order to help newbies learn about various parts of gameplay such as material penetration.
  • War Is Hell: More prominent in the original Operation Flashpoint series than the sequels. ARMA II put you in the role of a member of an elite USMC Force Recon squad, liberally adorned with fancy looking high-tech gear (although not to the extent of Modern Warfare 2). OFP gives you a rifle, uniform and boots, a helmet and... not much else. War is still unforgiving though, regardless whether you're a Red Shirt or a member of the elite forces.
  • We Are Not the Wehrmacht: German KSK teams are in the game, and there is a more complete Bundeswehr mod.
  • Why Are You Looking at Me Like That?: There is a rather hilarious (as well as realistic) mechanic in Arma 3 where NPCs' eyes follow the player as he walks by them or stands close enough, but when he looks back at them directly (as in, pointing with his crosshair at them), they quickly look away again. Oftentimes doubles as an Uncomfortable Elevator Moment, usually sans the elevator.
  • Yanks with Tanks: In ARMA II it was the USMC, but in Operation Arrowhead the American component is made of US Army soldiers, while British, German and Czech allied units are present as well.
    • In ARMA 3, despite supposedly being the whole of NATO, most of the infantry have US flags on them and the Greyhawk drone has the USAF roundel, although the "Survive" update (the first mini-campaign DLC) added in NATO NPCs with UK flag patches and differing camouflage uniforms.

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alternative title(s): ARMA
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