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Videogame: Evil Genius

Dungeon Keeper meets James Bond. You are the eponymous evil genius, and it is your job to construct a villainous lair in an active Volcano, recruit henchmen, steal priceless treasures, hold the world for ransom, and fight off pesky super agents. Also, you need to keep your minions well-trained and happy, because the looting and ransoming won't take care of itself.

Notable for a quirky sense of humor mixed with classically over-the-top megalomanical villainy. Everything has a '60s vibe to it, and the forces of justice are just as stereotypical as your own minions.

There's also a great deal of freedom and a wide range of methods you can use to complete your overarching goal. Want to run a fortress island with massive numbers of armed guards, machinegun emplacements, and horrifying freaks of nature, all emphasizing firepower? Perfectly reasonable. Want a deadly secluded island filled with martial arts disciples? Feel free! Want to beguile your enemies with squads of elite deceptive social minions who will leave their heads spinning and questioning their loyalty? That's also perfectly viable. Want to set a thousand deadly traps and twisty, mystifying corridors that will leave the forces of justice lost, confused, and very very dead? Nothing's stopping you. You're allowed to either discard the Villain Ball with prejudice or wrap both hands around it and run straight for the end zone.

Developed by Elixir Studios in 2004. Rebellion have announced a sequel for Facebook.

This game provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: The reason Maximilian is so screwed up.
  • Action Bomb:
    • If you die, your genius is rolled into a morgue... where you see that they're Actually a Doombot, whose face lifts to reveal a timer that quickly reaches 0. Boom!
    • Colonel Blackheart's pet monkey, Pendragon, carries TNT for this purpose.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: When mousing over Shen Yu, he is described as "a mysteriously mystical maniacal man."
  • The Ahnold: Dirk Masters provides the over-the-top Stallone style gunplay, while Red Ivan provides the physical presence and exaggerated accent of Schwarzenegger (despite being Russian instead of Austrian.)
  • Amazon Chaser: Mariana Mamba's special power is to woo your minions away from your service.
  • Anachronism Stew: While Word of God had put this in the 60s, the level of technology and several historical inaccuracies very much puts the game into this. One point of contention, for example, was the existence of British India (under S.A.B.R.E.) about two decades after it had been dismantled in real life.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Jet Chan.
  • Artificial Stupidity: You can't directly control the individual minions, instead only giving general orders and setting up security systems to alert them to intruders. This leads to hilarity. Feel free to shout "Why am I surrounded by these incompetent fools?!" at the ceiling.
    • You can use this to your advantage; there's a "bug" that allows you to stop a minion from leaving due to Loyalty zeroing: if you tag them for capture, then repeatedly zoom in to view their stat panel, they stop to salute you every time, giving your minions or henchmen time to catch up. Cue "re-education" via "Loyalty Restoration".
    • Only valets can use fire extinguishers. No one else can, including higher level social units (who apparently forget how). On top of that, valets have a distressing tendency to run right into the path of veteran kill teams, trying to pick up all the money and items dropped by your construction workers to fight off said kill teams. Which leads to them all being dead by the time the veterans start setting your base on fire blowing things up. And valets aren't very smart in extinguishing fires themselves:
    If a fire breaks out, the closest valet will not simply grab the nearest extinguisher and put it out. Instead, seemingly random valets all over your base will grab the extinguishers nearest them, and run to the fire, no matter how far it may be. Then, when they get there, they will put out one burning object (in a room after an explosion there can be over half a dozen objects on fire) and walk, with the extinguisher, past the other fires and put the extinguisher back. [1]
    • Same with technicians when they earn their science degree. Apparently, they forget basic mechanics and won't repair your stuff anymore. Cue generators blowing up.
    • This one may be intentional: Henchmen have the clearance to open level 3 and 4 doors just like the Evil Genius, but their AI believes they don't, so they'll only actually go through one if the player specifically orders them to. This can be useful or annoying, depending on what you put high-security doors on in the first place.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Red Ivan, who can be as much a danger to your base and your minions as to the forces of justice due to his preferred weapon being a bazooka. If you absolutely must use Ivan in game, it's best to keep him confined to a Topside Shack until he's needed. He can be quite useful in the right situations, but he needs to be kept on a tight leash and carefully micromanaged, which might push him into Difficult but Awesome territory.
  • Axe Crazy: More than half your henchmen, especially The Butcher and The Matron.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Your goal, of course. If you beat the game, you're treated to a scene of your evil genius taking leadership of the Forces of Justice, with its former head bowing down to him as banners of the evil empire are unfurled.
  • Bald of Evil: Both of the male Evil Geniuses.
  • BFG: The Mercenary minions carry immense machineguns. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. agent Dirk Masters carries two.
    • And then Ivan turns it Up to Eleven and has a RAWKET LAWNCHAIR! Most players refuse to use him since he's a bit trigger happy and will set most of your base on fire. Others swap it out for a machinegun, usually Dirk's.
      • Those that insist on using him unmodded take advantage of the fact that henchmen won't pass through level 3 or 4 doors unless specifically ordered to, and lock him in a topside shack until they need him.
    • Sentry turrets are also very large and very shooty.
  • Board to Death: The second objective in the game is to summon the crime lords of the world to a presentation where you present your evil plan, then zap the one that gave you lip with a shrink ray hidden in a model volcano.
  • Body Guard Babes: You can get up to two (or Bodyguard Hunks if you play as Alexis).
  • Briefcase Full of Money: You use these to handle money to store buy things..
  • Brown Note: Several henchmen can do this. For example, Lord Kane's presence can cause people to cower in fear or flee in panic, while Eli Barracuda plays a boombox with hypnotic suggestion that causes people around him to uncontrollably break out into dance.
  • Bruce Lee Clone: Jet Chan. He's a blatant Bruce Lee rip off named after Jackie Chan and Jet Li.
  • Busby Berkeley Number: in one of the menus, scuba diver models do a "synchronized swimming" variant.
  • Captain Ersatz: The entire cast in one form or another.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: You!
  • Clone by Conversion: The cloning pod works by turning a mook into a copy of you.
  • Cloning Blues: The doppelgangers sent out to fool the specialists.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Your minions. Construction workers wear yellow, social minions wear red (except for the Spindoctor), military minions wear orange and science minions wear white.
    • The territories controlled by the Forces of Justice are also color coded: P.A.T.R.I.O.T.'s territories are blue, S.A.B.R.E.'s are green, H.A.M.M.E.R.'s are red, S.M.A.S.H.'s are yellow, and A.N.V.I.L.'s are orange.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: By the boatload. The different torture devices are just asking for it. Hell, why are you playing this game if not for that ?
  • Contractual Boss Immunity - The Super Agents cannot be killed through any amount of minions, traps, gunfire, or interrogation. Only specific methods that don't become available until the second half can deal with them.
    • Mariana Mamba is made fat via reverse liposuction, losing her looks and thus rendering her main weapon null.
    • Jet Chan is challenged to a rigged one-on-one karate battle after interrogating his old master. In the ensuing match he is utterly humiliated, and he leaves in shame and never returns.
    • Katerina Frostonova is forced to watch you beat up and chop up the only object she ever showed any affection for, her teddy bear. The resulting BSOD leaves her unable to operate any more.
    • Dirk Masters is dipped in your bio-tanks. The chemicals react with the numerous illegal steroids in his body, morphing him into a dumb freak under your command.
    • John Steele cannot be defeated during the game, but if you have him locked in your jail cell when you press the button to launch the rocket and thus win the game, the ending cinematic will show him strapped to the rocket and launched into space with it.
  • Contractual Genre Blindness: Why does your Elaborate Underground Base's entraces have slowly-opening doors? Why do your minions ignore Highly Visible Ninjas unless you've specifically told them to do something about them? Because you're the Evil Genius. If you weren't Contractually Genre Blind, more than half of the gameplay would have to be changed.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Most of the ways you torture prisoners. Including forcing prisoners to watch a Mook do Michael Jackson's dance moves.
  • Cooldown Manipulation: The Matron can bestow a buff upon your other henchmen that lets them regenerate their special abilities quickly.
  • Cutting the Knot: Opportunity: You've located Excalibur. Problem: Your minions aren't worthy to pull it out of the stone. Solution: Steal the stone too.
  • Death Trap: Part of the fun in the game is designing a convoluted, Goldbergesque series of them. Ironically, the most valuable traps are non-lethal. Lethal traps generate too much heat, and non-lethal traps can be made to sweep up enemies in endless loops of money-making combos.
  • Decapitated Army: You lose automatically if your Evil Genius is killed. Justified if your Evil Genius was kept deep in the base, meaning the good guys would have to fight their way through your traps and minions to get to you, but particularly annoying when your Evil Genius is watching an agent get tortured in the middle of an otherwise airtight base, and he escapes and kills the player while the guards were all elsewhere. All justified though, the Evil Genius is the Player Avatar, and if they die the player is out of the game.
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: Sentry turrets have very narrow firing arcs, and can only be placed on a grid facing one of four directions. This provides diagonal blindspots from which agents can attack any tightly grouped cluster of them. Thus, some staggering in their positions are needed so that they can cover each other.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Eli Barracuda killed the Mayor of New York because the Mayor accidently spilled coffee over his suit.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: The penultimate objective is to hijack the airwaves with broadcast towers and deliver your ultimatum to the world.
  • Doomsday Device: Three to choose from for the endgame.
  • The Dragon: Whichever Henchman the player favours most. Each Evil Genius starts with their own.
    • Industrialist Maximilian has the young Samurai Jubei.
    • Narcissistic Socialite Alexis has New York gangster Eli Barracuda.
    • Chinese Mastermind Shen Yu has the sinister Lord Kane, the man (accidentally) responsible for sinking the Titanic, amongst other things.
  • Dumb Muscle: Freaks do a lot of damage and can take a lot of punishment before going down, but have one of the lowest maximum smarts statistics in the game. The value is so low in fact, that they will constantly be triggering the player's own traps when they pass by the trigger mechanism, even if their smarts are at full value. Some players take full advantage of this by installing a Freak-trigger.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: No, really.
  • Enemy Civil War: Late in the game, you capture diplomats from each Force of Justice and replace them with your own. Ultimately, this makes the Forces of Justice fight each other when they see each other... sometimes.
  • Epic Flail: The Matron's morning star. "Time for their medicine!"
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Although the minion's sprites are mostly all white, their names show a wide varity of origins. The Henchmen are a straighter example.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Even the Evil Genius abhors country music, which is why you can blow up Nashville. Your scientists grudgingly admit that you're doing the world a favour, but they really need somewhere to test their new toy on, and it has to be somewhere big... so they might as well kill two birds with one stone.
    • Red Ivan was exiled to a gulag because his masters in the Soviet government were disgusted by his sadistic tendencies.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: The second island has native monkeys ambling around, and Col. Blackheart, bonus henchman, can sic his pet monkey on enemies as a special ability. You can also get a trap that sics a mind-controlled monkey on foes, but a glitch prevents you from researching what you need to get this.
  • Evil Counterpart: Red Ivan is this to Dirk masters to the point where it's not even trying to be hidden, both are large action types whose ability is "Spin around killing everything".
  • Evil Genius: Duh.
  • Evil Gloating: Gloating at prisoners increases your Notoriety. The Evil Genius avatar will also automatically go over to gloat at a Super Agent being tortured. Of course, it's possible that this will lead to the prisoner escaping. Super Agents especially. John Steele will always escape if he is gloated at.
  • Evil Minions: No prizes for guessing.
  • Explosive Stupidity: Enemy units who are armed with explosives aren't always so careful when using them. More than a few soldiers and saboteurs have literally had their own bombs blow up in their faces, leading to hilarious moments where they are running around on fire. Jet Chan, Dirk Masters, and John Steele will also start planting explosives upon escaping one of your security cells, even if said cell is in a closed, confined space; serving themselves a steaming bowl of instant karma in the process.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Minions and foreign agents are both more likely to set off traps when their attention stat is low. Less skilled agents can also miss the bodies, hencemen and other incredibly conspicious objects. Reducing enemy's attention with distractions and social minions is a big part of both keeping an operation quiet and ensuring traps are deadlier.
    • People who are distracted by a social minion will ignore anything happening around them while that's taking place, up to and including gunfights.
  • Final Death: While normally Henchmen can only be knocked out, Super Agents are capable of actually finally killing them. They get three "lives" after which they are gone for good.
  • Five-Bad Band: Most players will wind up with one of these. It's almost always the same group, too: players usually go for getting all three "main" henchmen, and The Matron just For the Lulz.
  • Five-Man Band: The five super-agents.
  • For the Evulz:
    • Half the Acts of Infamy you can perform in the game are done solely to be a dick to Agencies, such as ruining S.A.B.R.E's tea supply or ruining a S.M.A.S.H. attempt at bringing down ivory smugglers by replacing the stash of ivory with thousands of squeaky toy elephants. There are few legitimate evil acts, such as you publicly executing The Orsons, a family of pop singers.
    • Like destroying Nashville and country music, your evil genius considers that taking a break from evil.
  • Freudian Excuse: For a Card-Carrying Villain, Maximilian has a pretty strong one.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The spy organizations who are trying to stop you do have fun with this. Incidentally, neither the game nor the manual will ever actually tell you what the acronyms actually mean.
  • Fur and Loathing: Alexis
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Sadly, quite a few, more in the vein of Bugs That Will Make You Want To Break The Game CD variety:
    • Service minions escorting brainwashed Agents outside of the base have a habit of 'dropping off' the Mind Raped person right in front of the base. Bonus points if the drop-off zone is located inside a Camouflaged Door, meaning the door will stay open constantly.
    • Some people have reported that both two Super Agents' Karmic Deaths have caused crashes. The only fix? Don't look at them. Hope you weren't excited about acting seeing your enemies defeated...
    • After a late-game mission, the Forces of Justice have been convinced that each other is the problem. The game tells you that they'll fight against each other while on your island, freeing you from both worrying about Good Guy retaliation levels. For every one time this actually happens, there's a handful of times when the massively-armed soldiers drop the Idiot Ball and work together to deal with you.
  • Game Mod: The possibilities are limited, but it can be done to a certain extent. Ever wanted your own ninja henchman, for example? It can be done. Other mods include replacing every view screen with porn and changing the values of said viewscreens so they increase minions' loyalty stat.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • The game does actually give you reasons to act Genre Blind. Letting the Mooks deal with Super Agents instead of dogpiling them with henchmen will prevent the possibility of you losing the henchmen at the hands of the Super Agent. Taking enemies alive instead of killing them prevents damage to your troops' morale with all the dead bodies everywhere, and they can be tortured with the right devices to make them lose all memory of what they saw and then be released to lower your heat rating. Sending minions to beguile and mislead the enemy instead of killing them prevents heat buildup, which prevents the alliances from sending squads of heavily-armed soldiers to the island.
  • Giant Mook: The Freaks.
  • Good Is Dumb: Really, really, really dumb, sometimes.
  • Good Is Not Nice: In addition to attacking each other during global chaos, higher-ranking Soldiers and most Super Agents will attack minions on sight, even Social or Science minions who aren't aggressive. They'll also blow up your hotel, even killing tourists in the process.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Your minions will happily let investigators, soldiers, and obvious, heavily armed ninjas walk into your base unless you tag them to be eliminated.
  • Great White Hunter: Bonus henchman Col. Blackheart.
  • He Knows Too Much: Any investigator agent who has gathered a heat rating will fall under this, and the player is expected to react accordingly...
  • Hero Antagonist: The Super Agents.
  • Heroic BSOD: You defeat Jet Chan and Katerina Frostanova by causing them to experience these. Jet Chan by having a minion defeat him in a rigged martial arts duel, Frostanova by destroying her beloved teddy bear before her very eyes.
  • Highly Conspicuous Uniform: Almost everyone wears brightly colored uniforms. Your neon yellow workers and the orange military minions are particularly obvious. Enemy spies and agents also come in full dress uniforms, some of them more glaring than others.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: A.N.V.I.L.'s Infiltrator agents are ninjas dressed in various bright colors. Minions will happily ignore them unless they are tagged.
  • High Voltage Death: You can build traps to electrocute heroes infiltrating your lair in this game.
  • Historical Rap Sheet: Criminal mastermind Lord Kane is alleged to have had a hand in every major crime of the 20th century, from starting the fire that crashed the Hindenburg to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. He does insist that the shinking of the Titanic was an honest accident, as one of his minons appearently misheard his orders.
  • Hold the Line: Your final objective is to guard the rocket against increasing waves of soldiers as you prepare for launch. Starting the Enemy Civil War a few missions earlier lessens the pressure.
  • Hollywood Action Hero: Dirk Masters, the American super agent, a Rambo-lookalike who dual-wields machine guns.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Henchman Montezuma
  • Human Popsicle: The final upgrade to the minion's bed is a cryogenic suspension unit.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Bonus Henchman Colonel Blackheart's motivation for joining your evil empire.
  • Husky Russkie: Red Ivan, burly bazooka-wielding henchman.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: Shen Yu replies with these when given commands in a bad Chinese accent, such as "He who walk... arrive".
  • Idle Animation: Done by virtually all characters, though the Henchmen and Evil Geniuses all have unique ones.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: How Mariana Mamba wins over your henchmen.
  • Instant Expert: A few minutes' instruction is all it takes to upgrade a mindless construction worker into a quantum physicist.
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny: Jubei the Ronin henchman does this. "Using FRAT of Brade." when ordered to capture rather than kill, for instance.
  • Involuntary Dance: Eli Barracuda's boombox causes this.
  • Island Base: Two of 'em! The second even has a volcano for you to launch a rocket from.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • The darkly hilarious Out Clubbing act of infamy involves sending your soldiers out to club baby seals on live TV.
    • Another highlight is neutering the world's most fertile male panda.
  • Kill It with Fire: Several of the traps (and the flamethrower rack for mercenaries). Often a bad idea due to such weapons being indiscriminate.
  • Kill Sat: All the endgame Doomsday Devices are satellite-mounted.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Most non-lethal traps and social minions all exist to keep enemy agents from remembering and reporting anything they see about your base. Super Agents can be mind-wiped and temporarily gotten rid of through what would normally be lethal torture too.
  • Laughably Evil: Half the acts of infamy in this game, really. Hell, the entire game!
  • Leitmotif: Each of the Super Agents has their own theme music that will play when they arrive on the island.
  • Literal Metaphor: The brainwasher, which sucks out and washes the brain of the person strapped to it with chemicals.
  • Made of Explodium: Everything — from beds to fire extinguisher cases to doors. Worse, when something explodes, it sets nearby items on fire, which will eventually explode themselves unless someone puts it out. Also leads to Man on Fire.
  • Man in White: Henchman Eli Barricuda is never seen without his stylish immaculate white suit. Never, ever, spill something on it.
  • Monumental Theft: You are expected to pull off a few.
  • Mooks: Billions of them, on all sides.
  • Napoleon Complex: Maximilian
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: Pretty much a N.E.O. management Simulation Game.
  • Never Live It Down: Lord Kane insists that he didn't mean for the Titanic to sink and that it was the slip of the tongue to an erstwhile minion of his. No one believes him.
  • No Body Left Behind: Dead bodies turn into body bags that will eventually fade.
    • Zigzagged in that body bags attract the attention of agents, and should one of them fade while "out in the open", the world heat level will rise. That's what the freezers are for.
    • Additionally, the presence of bodybags lying about your base gives your minions second thoughts about being part of your Nebulous Evil Organisation, sapping their loyalty as long as they remain present. Stuffing Them In The Freezer keeps those bodies out of the minions' sight and minds.
    • For what it's worth, your minions just fade away upon death.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: The Evil Genius can't attack enemies.
  • Noodle Implements: One of the Acts of Infamy concerns toppling a pointless monarchy with "Some spiked beverages, fluorescent duct tape, a set of inflatable farm animals and a crowd of paparazzi".
  • Obvious Beta: There are some bugs that really, really should not have slipped through. Examples include the persian rug being a barrier instead of a tile and science-related henchmen actually making your schemes take longer. Many of these bugs can be fixed by a simple edit of text files, but if even that's too hard for you, you can try the automatic Unofficial Patch.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Some Acts of Infamy are heists of gigantic proportions, but you will only ever hear a short radio broadcast about them.
  • 100% Completion: Sadly made impossible by certain mutually-exclusive Acts of Infamy, preventing you from filling the Region Completion bar of each area. There is no reward nor indication of completion, though.
    • You may only deploy a single Doomsday Device out of a selection of three different ones. Since it takes quite some time to finish the project (and the game) once the choice is made, if you want to see all three endings your best option is to load a save-game made hours earlier and choose a different device.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: While any agent will attack you if they get close enough, the Specialist agents are specifically sent to assassinate you. While you can dispose of them like any other agent, the proper way would be to send out a clone to get shot instead.
  • Organ Autonomy: The Butcher was once a medical aid-worker until an emergency forced him to transplant a cannibal's cursed pancreas into himself.
  • Public Domain Artifact: Excalibur and The Ark of The Covenant are two possibilities when doing a Type A Gotta Catch Them All for special items, except you only "need" four out of six, rather than all of them. Players may opt to steal all six anyway, because let's face it, you might as well complete the set and rub it in the faces of the Forces of Justice, eh?
  • Punny Name: The Butcher's real name is Dr. Ethan Asia.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Your henchmen/women can be one of these, if you choose the right people.
  • Real Time with Pause
  • Redshirt Army: Your heroic opponents, and they come in different varieties, depending on the agency, function, and level of annoyance with the Evil Genius. They can come as regular inspectors, to ninja-like saboteurs, to outright invading with the military. Incidentally, there is a literal redshirt army in a brief Enemy Civil War you engage in; a rival sics red jumpsuit-clad minions to try and take you out.
  • Renegade Russian: Red Ivan, a former Soviet soldier gone rogue after being betrayed by his handlers.
  • Reverse Psychology: Some enemy agents can be deterred from going somewhere, simply by putting a door with the lowest security setting (i.e. "Anyone can enter") in front of it. They clearly are thinking "Well, if anyone can enter, there can't be anything that important on the other side". Obviously, this can be used against them to keep them out of more vital areas.
  • Reward from Nowhere: Traps give you money for combos with no attempt to explain where the money is coming from.
  • Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: As mentioned above you get rewarded with cash through using elaborate traps to dispose of enemy agents. The more elaborate it is the bigger the payout.
  • Rule of Cool: You can steal the Eiffel Tower. With helicopters. And a shrink ray.
  • Rule of Funny: Everything everywhere in this game. Why do beds blow up ? Why are the ninjas brightly colored ? Why do you dispose of Mariana Mamba by making her incredibly obese ? Why do you go out in the world mostly to troll the enemy agencies, instead on actually crippling/disabling them ? Because it's hilarious, and you, as a classic Evil Overlord, are a case of Contractual Genre Blindness.
  • Schmuck Bait: Some of the traps are quite obvious. Plus using stolen loot.
    • Setting a door to security level four draws in agents like bees to honey - even when the door is guarded by two giant henchmen. And has absolutely nothing of value behind it.
    • One trap is literally a Big Red Button in the middle of a bullseye with arrows pointing at it, saying "DO NOT PRESS THIS BUTTON" in lights.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Any minion whose loyalty drops too low will hightail it out of your base. Some of them will even steal gold from your safe before fleeing.
  • Self-Surgery: The Butcher's backstory involves him giving himself a pancreas transplant.
  • Shoot Everything That Moves: Red Alert status makes your minions arm up and/or immediately aggress (with intent to kill, unless tagged otherwise) any non-minion forces in their vicinity, and appropriately engage any tagged minions nearby. Under heavy attack? Go to Red Alert, Shoot Everything That Moves! This Is Not a Drill!
  • Shout-Out:
    • Naturally, given the source material. Many of the Acts of Infamy are a Shout-Out to Bond movies and other spy films.
    • There is also a blink-and-miss-it one: the first island choppers have a Novistrana symbol on the tail. Novistrana was in their earlier game, Republic: The Revolution.
    • Lord Kane's given name, according to some of the more obscure game files? Kaiser Söze.
  • The Sixties
  • Sliding Scale of Undead Regeneration: Freaks are Type II, as their attributes do not degrade over time, but once lost they cannot be restored.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Under the player's management.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Dungeon Keeper.
  • Stealth Pun: The Michael Jackson dance routine minions do while performing an interrogation? It's from the video for Smooth Criminal.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Literally what one does with Agents one kills, putting them into a large meat locker. However, this is a subversion, since the point of doing so is so that forces of justice do not find the bodies. If they do manage to get into the freezer, expect their horror to be quite genuine, and your heat rating to go up appropriately if they escape.
  • Supervillain Lair: Home, sweet home.
  • Take Over the World: Of course.
  • Too Smart for Strangers: Apparently averted in America, since the radio announcement when you successfully kidnap someone in the Mid-West includes advice that people take "basic self preservation" steps like "not taking candy from strangers."
  • Tuxedo and Martini: John Steele, the British super agent.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The traps are just asking for it. The game even rewards you for impressive combos.
    • Sticking fat people into the mixer.
    • Tossing female agents into the greenhouse.
    • The Bookcase's sole purpose is hilarious cartoony smashing.
    • You can even imprison, torture, and execute your own minions at a whim. Not to mention that the Super Agents can't die unless you use their own weakness on them, meaning you can torture your most hated enemy endlessly.
      • Come on, who hasn't put Jet Chan through a few rounds with the laser as revenge for all the times he's blown up part of your base?
      • One of the most extremely cruel examples is the way you can finish off Frostonova. You cut up her teddy bear right in front of her. You Bastard.
  • Villain Cred: "Notoriety", which represents how widely your misdeeds are known to the world. Increasing it is neccesary to progress in the main storyline, and is the main reason to perform side missions. It also makes sense in-story as increasing your notoriety is how you interest new henchmen in joining your organization, and as it gets higher more alliances get nervous and assign their top people to dealing with you.
  • Villainous Friendship: Whenever your henchmen aren't doing anything, they can usually be found in pairs, chatting in out of the way corners. If one of them is unpaired, one of the regular minions will talk with them instead. Henchmen and minions will also wave to one another as they pass in the halls.
  • Villain Protagonist
  • We Have Reserves: Your minions are very disposable. And you will go through them. A lot.
    • So disposable, in fact, that the basic construction worker minions are free. Or you can pay out the nose to recruit as many as you need in mere seconds. Not to mention the game actually rewards you for summarily executing or torturing your minions in front of others.
  • Who Shot JFK?: The "Assassinate Mr. President" mission involves sniping him from a "grassy knoll".
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?:
    • The only way to kill the super agents is to put them on some sort of torture device.
    • The most extreme example is the James Bond lookalike, John Steele. He can only be killed completely off if he is kept imprisoned until the very end of the game whereupon you strap him to the rocket boosting your Kill Sat into space!
    • You can, however, just shoot the regular agents and soldiers you capture, though why you'd do that when you went to all the trouble to capture them first is a good question. Usually it boils down to simple convenience.
    • The main reason to just shoot them is because being around bodybags causes the loyalty of minions to drop, so its usually more efficient to have them shot in the jail, and then take them 10 feet away to the freezer, so that you dont have to have them carry it all through your base lowering everyones loyalty.
  • Worker Unit: Construction workers.
  • Yellow Peril: Shen Yu
  • You Call That A Wound: Henchmen reduced to zero health by combat against regular agents will only knock them out for a period, after which they will get back up again and recover their stats. Henchmen taken out during missions will disappear for a while, then finally make their way back to your island from the wilderness. The only exception to their Contractual Boss Immunity is if they are killed by one of the Super Agents, in which case they have three lives. After losing their last life to a Super Agent, they are Killed Off for Real.
  • You Have Failed Me: The line is uttered by Maximilian just before...
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: You can make your evil genius execute any minion at any time, and you don't need any excuse to do so. Each evil genius has their own method of execution. It also somehow restores all nearby minions' Health, Endurance, Loyalty, Smarts, and Attention to near tip-top levels, which makes executing hapless idiots a viable strategy for restoring minions' stats without them ever having to stop working. Ever.
    • More specifically, this is done as a Dog-Kicking Establishing Character Moment by the Evil Genius at the end of the tutorial mission to the lady who has been guiding you to this point, after she says that she has committed all her other lessons to video tapes. Her desperate protests that she can still be useful are ignored as the Evil Genius gleefully chuckles an Evil Laugh as a Henchmen executes her.
  • Zeerust: despite all the bizarre technology, the game's timeframe appears to be somewhere in the 60s or 70s (Lasers and Pong cabinets are both described as brand new technology). Word of God put it in the 60s, but if they saw something they liked from another decade they threw it in.
  • Zerg Rush: if you've got the money, it's possible to defeat even squads of enemy veterans by simply having waves of construction workers mob them with their fists.

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