Video Game: Hotline Miami
"Make sure to wear something fancy."
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(Горячая Линия Майами
in cyrillic alphabet) is a 2012 game by cactus
and Dennis Wedin (Dennaton Digital), published by Devolver Digital, about a masked hitman who takes orders from his answering machine being forced to confront his inner darkness and relive past missions.
To know more, the character page
is a good place to start. We recommend you take a quick look at it anyway, since none of the characters have official names
and the entries below use their most common Fan Nicknames
Gameplay is simple - it is a top-down 2-D action game with movement by WASD and a few other buttons for killing. All you have to do is kill all enemies and not be killed, although this is easier said than done. Why? You die within one hit. And you will die plenty of times.
A sequel is in the works, titled Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
. Set in The Nineties
, it deals with multiple factions that have arisen after the events of the first game. A digital comic book serving as a prequel for the game began publication on Steam on February 17, 2015, providing background on the various characters and factions featured in the first and second games. View the teaser trailer here
and the gameplay trailer here
. It is due for release March 10, 2015.
Following its release, the game received widespread acclaim, so much so that development company OVERKILL Software, being such huge fans
of the series, have thrown several blatant references
into their equally successful game PAYDAY 2
. Eventually, the company announced a crossover
DLC for PAYDAY 2
, made in collaboration with Dennaton Games, which saw the game's characters going after the remnants of Miami's Russian Mob. This enthusiasm reached its logical conclusion in February 2015, when the studio announced
Jacket as a Guest Fighter
for PAYDAY 2
(speaking through tape recorders, naturally
), available as both a preorder bonus for Wrong Number
and a standalone DLC.
Hotline Miami contains examples of the following:
open/close all folders
- Gangsta Style: Everyone holds SMGs and pistols this way.
- The Generic Guy: Richard the Rooster, who is the only animal mask to have no special abilities. He probably represents Jacket's true self.
- Genre Throwback: To violent 80's action films like Thief, as well as to films such as Drive (to the point where Nicolas Winding Refn is specially-thanked in the credits).
- Golden Ending: Finding all puzzle pieces in each level will unlock an ending, where it turns out the two Janitors are part of a conspiracy to break up a Russo-American alliance. Player interpretations of the ending differ.
- Golf Clubbing: Complete with a finishing move where Jacket tees-off a boss's head.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Always an option, especially if you can get the drop on a lone enemy. Tony the Tiger makes your unarmed attacks lethal, even allowing you to take on dogs bare-handed.
- Gorn: So very much. Especially notable is the several different ways an enemy can get mutilated with your weapons depending on what you use and what angle you attack them at.
- Gratuitous French: Wearing Phil (the fish mask) during a mission will play the dialogues in French.
- Guide Dang It: Getting Jones the alligator. That crowbar in the first room of Full House? You use it to open up the manhole outside of the building after finishing the level. There isn't any indication of this unless you pick up the crowbar and go back there to see the red arrow.
- Guns Akimbo: The police chief dual-wields SMGs Gangsta Style. As does the final boss, the Mafiya kingpin.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: The enemies primarily pick up on noise, scent, direct visual contact, etc. and will not care about mysteriously-opened doors, the sight of other dead mooks, or broken windows.
- Heroic Mime: Jacket. Averted for the Biker, though Jacket still remains silent.
- Heroic Resolve: Right after he seems to be almost on the verge of death and wakes up in a hospital, delirious and tired, Jacket escapes from the hospital, dons his old jacket, and shoots out an entire police station and Mafia headquarters to massacre everyone he believes is responsible for the death of his female companion. Heroic Resolve indeed.
- Hitman with a Heart: Jacket has a soft spot for a drug-addicted woman he rescues.
- Hollywood Silencer: The silenced handgun, which is quieter than most melee attacks, at the cost of a fifty-fifty chance of only wounding the target. Using Peter the Unicorn makes all your weapons silent.
- How We Got Here: "Does April the 3rd mean anything to you?" The story apparently begins in the eleventh chapter, after Jacket has been hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the head..
- Human Sacrifice: One of these is being performed in the center of the first bonus mission.
- Informed Ability: The Biker is apparently some sort of DJ or musician, or at least dabbles in music judging by the keytar and turntables in his apartment.
- I See Dead People: Following the battle with the biker, Jacket's version of events becomes increasingly distorted, with zombies of the men he's killed beginning to show up around his home and in public.
- Improbable Weapon User: Jacket's arsenal includes lead pipes, crowbars, glass bottles, beer cans, and pans of boiling hot water. The Don Juan mask allows you to kill enemies by slamming doors into them.
- Interface Screw:
- Nigel the Bat reverses the controls. Oscar the Mole turns the screen dark and red.
- As Jacket gets closer to remembering his girlfriend's death, quick flashes of static start appearing. Then there's the hospital level.
- The game also likes to do whatever it can to disorient you, from making the stage sway back and forth as you move to causing TV-style flickering on your monitor.
- Invincible Minor Minion: SWAT officers appear unexpectedly at the end of one of the missions, and you have to escape from them. Thanks to their body armor they're immune to most attacks, and the few attacks that do work on them will only knock them down for a couple seconds.
- It Never Gets Any Easier: In fact, Jacket starts to suffer mentally as a result of his work. His first mission results in him puking his guts out. Halfway through, he begins hallucinating his victims, mutilated corpses, and has no idea what reality is. Unless he's not hallucinating because of guilt, but rather because his dreamscape is starting to fall apart.
- Just Following Orders: Jacket confronts Richter in a jail cell during Chapter 13, Assault. Richter reveals he himself does not understand the events at play, and is receiving the phone calls as well. The player can then either strangle him to death or spare him.
- Just You and Me and My GUARDS: Before you get to lay hands on the Russian mob boss, you'll have to contend with his pet panthers and female bodyguard.
- Kaizo Trap:
- The Chapter Clear banner is no promise of safety. SWAT shows up in one level, while a van tries to run you over and deploys a molotov-throwing boss and several goons.
- The final boss shoots himself with a revolver, whose bullets pierce multiple targets. And you can't move while he does it. Position yourself carefully.
- Katanas Are Just Better: The samurai sword, which has both reach and lethality.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The masked men and the janitors talk as much to the player character as to the player himself.
- Knife Nut: Jacket can be this if you play with the Boring but Practical knife. The biker can only use a meat cleaver and a trio of throwing knives. Dennis the Wolf lets you start each level already armed with a knife.
- Leave No Survivors: Jacket must kill all enemies. He can never just go straight to his objective.
- Long Song, Short Scene: The music that plays in the main menu, apartments, and after the "chapter complete" sign all last a very long time. Of note is the main menu theme, "Horse Steppin'" that lasts 10 whole minutes.
- Losing Your Head:
- The headless corpse of the Biker is still fully-conscious.. at least in Jacket's hallucinations.
- Once Jacket glimpses himself lying in a hospital bed, he falls to his knees and pulls his own head off.
- In the Biker's playthrough, during the fight at Phonehom he ensures Jacket is dead by stomping it into a red puddle.
- Luck-Based Mission: The weapons that spawn on a level are randomized, so if you rely on a single play-style, then the game will be very luck-based. Additionally, mooks occasionally deviate from their usual patrol routes, which can ruin a run if you're not very quick on your reactions.
- Ludicrous Gibs: The people you kill are torn apart with blades, blown to pieces with gunfire, or bashed into paste with blunt weapons.
- Machete Mayhem: On par with the katana!
- Made of Iron: The bosses, who are able to take quite a bit of damage before Jacket can finish them off. Even the Flunky Boss, who surrenders without getting into a straight-up fight, takes a very long beating. Justified for the first boss, at least, as he's wearing a bulletproof vest.
- Made of Plasticine: Just about everyone else in the game can be messily killed.
- The Mafiya: The mooks you kill are all Russian, as confirmed by most of the NPC dialogue. Especially the Golden Ending
- Malevolent Masked Men: There ARE many masked hitmen on the loose, as evidence by the masks you find in levels being next to dead bodies. Then you have Richter sent to kill Jacket via phone message. Both Biker and Jacket have newsletters for 50 Blessings, if the Golden Ending is canon then everyone who signed up for that newsletter agreed to "die for their country" and anyone who thought about about backing out were given—empty—threats. Even without the canon ending, the janitors still imply there being many more operatives that the handful we saw during the course of the game not to mention the box of masks in their sewer lair.
- The Many Deaths of You: As well as the many possible deaths of the enemies.
- Mask Power: Jacket gets a variety of animal masks, each of which has a different ability. For example, Tony the Tiger increases his unarmed power, while Don Juan the Horse upgrades the door-slam takedown into a lethal move.
- Mind Screw: Things get weird the farther you get in the game.
- Mind Screwdriver: The Golden Ending brings the plot back down to reality.
- Mix and Match: 80s-style Genre Throwback with frequent Genre Shift into Psychological Thriller territory and even some optional elements of a Puzzle Game.
- Mood Whiplash: In the course of the game, we go from a slightly weird but twistedly fun scenario involving a nameless anti-hero who kills nameless mobsters, to said main character slowly going insane from a bizarre combination of Schizophrenia and PTSD and finding his female companion's dead body in his apartment. We then go to the main character determinedly hunting down his girlfriend's assassin by taking out an entire police station and destroying every last one of the mobsters. This is all followed by The Biker's psychotically upbeat and energetic attitude, followed in turn by his ultimate disappointment at finding out that the entire set up was a game created by janitors, who were basically trolling. So yeah… we go from exciting action to mind-bendy weirdness and back again.
- Mook Chivalry: Downplayed. Sure, the enemies all attack at once, but they all charge straight forward with absolutely no regard to self preservation.
- Morality Pet: The hooker Jacket rescues and takes care of, with no apparent motivation other than pity. Watch the game from chapter to chapter and notice how Jacket's apartment gets steadily nicer and more comfortable, more like something a well-adjusted person would live in up until the point she gets Stuffed In The Fridge.
- Multiple Endings: Determined by whether or not you investigate the Big Bad Duumvirate's computer before confronting them.
- Mysterious Employer: Just who is leaving the messages on Jacket's machine? Turns out it's the janitors, who either hire or intimidate hitmen into killing targets.
- Nameless Narrative: None of the characters are given official names.
- Nintendo Hard: One knife stab, baseball bat to the face, bullet to anywhere, etc. will kill you instantly. And you frequently face multiple opponents at once, who have insane reaction times and swing/shoot faster than you can. Then you play as the biker, who only has three custom throwing knives, and faces more gunners than you have knives. In either case, you either have to play very carefully (which nets you less points, as the game encourages recklessness), or rush everyone and hope a shot just grazes you.
- No Dead Body Poops: Averted. Some melee kills result in a beaten, bloody gangster with a urine stain in his pants.
- No-Gear Level: The hospital. Making matters more difficult: The camera angles are loopier than usual, and the overlay is mimicking poor cable TV reception. This mirrors the pain and disorientation of Jacket, whose head is still swathed in bandages.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Woe betide whoever Jacket has to take down with his bare hands. Even worse for many of the bosses.
- No Sell:
- An unintentional example. The silenced Uzi and pistol take two bullets to kill a normal guard. Due to that and silenced guns being silent, a guard shot in the back of the head with one bullet won't even flinch.
- The Scary Black Man type of mook, who needs a shotgun blast or an entire magazine of assault rifle fire to kill him.
- Nonstandard Game Over: Getting caught in the hospital level results in mundane things like getting put in restraints, and being sent back to your room.
- Noodle Incident: "I haven't felt this way since San Francisco..."
- Not So Different: The rat-masked killer sent to kill Jacket and his girlfriend says this to Jacket later on, when Jacket comes to seek revenge, though it's more of a confession than a taunt.
- Notice This: Using Rasmus adds a twinkling effect to hidden items.
- Nothing Is Scarier: The janitors. When encountered for the first time, their initial dialogue comes up as a single ellipsis.
- Nothing Personal: When Jacket confronts Richter in a jail cell, he reveals that he's just a pawn following orders just like Jacket.
- Office Golf: The boss of the telephone company has a golf bag in his office. Jacket has to pick up a golf club to fight against the boss.
- Once an Episode:
- Every mission until waking up in the hospital begins with Jacket getting a message on his answering machine describing his next job, in coded language. He walks downstairs, gets in his car, and heads off.
- After each mission, Jacket stops by one of the establishments run by Beard. Beard makes one-sided small talk with Jacket, then offers him something "on the house." Jacket silently takes it and leaves. Then he starts getting replaced.
- Once More with Clarity: Playing as the biker and killing Jacket can be viewed as this sort of scene.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Jacket and most mooks are effectively this whenever weapons are involved. With the exception of the Rufus mask, which allows you to survive a shot - from ranged weapons only.
- One-Man Army: Hoooooo boy... The fact that you're a One-Hit-Point Wonder like every last mook only makes your ability to scythe through them by the dozen all the more impressive.
- Only In Miami: Taken to an extreme! protagonists and antagonists embody this, as does the sinister, neon-lit setting.
- Only Six Faces: Let's just say that the similarities in character appearances have resulted in more than a fair share of Wild Mass Guessing amongst fans of the game.
- The Owl-Knowing One: Sure enough, Rasmus the Owl is better at finding secrets.
- Panthera Awesome: The mob boss certainly thinks so. He has a pair of black leopards guarding his penthouse office.
- The Password Is Always Swordfish: "I was born in the USA"
- The Patient Has Left the Building: In the level "Trauma", your character (who has just awoken from a coma) must sneak out of the hospital. It's the game's only Stealth-Based Mission, and your character will freeze up every so often as a wave of dizziness takes over him.
- Pet the Dog:
- Jacket rescues an abused working girl, The Hooker, who he then shares his apartment with. It doesn't end well for her.
- As the Biker, he spares his interrogation targets, and unlike the main game, it's possible to just ignore all the Phonehom workers instead of chopping them up.
- Pixel Hunting: Each password piece appears as a small purple square which can be very hard to see unless one is specifically looking for them. The Rasmus mask will add a small glow around the pieces making them more noticable.
- Psycho for Hire: Jacket's motivations are unknown, save for revenge in the ending, but the Biker is definitely this.
- Psychotic Smirk: The two janitors never stop grinning when Biker confronts them. They do, however, stop smirking when Biker tells them he bypassed their computer.
- Punch Clock Villain: A few of the enemies in the game, such as the rat-masked man who shot Jacket and his girlfriend. He's apologetic, but knows as little about the men who ordered the hit as you do.
- "Rashomon"-Style: From the different playthroughs. In "Neighbors", Jacket finds all the Phonehom employees dead, and has the boss immediately and violently fly at him, roaring his intent to tear him apart. In the Biker's perspective, killing them is optional, and the Biker warns Jacket twice to leave. Jacket, instead, charges him without a word. When Jacket dies, the Biker mutters that "[he] made [his] choice."
- Real Men Wear Pink: The Biker definitely shows himself to be just as badass as Jacket.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Jacket is The Quiet One, who lives in a dingy, poorly kept apartment. Biker is a Blood Knight with a fiery attitude who is obsessed with bright neon colors.
- Retraux: Pixel art and some 80s-inspired music. It's SLIGHTLY more violent than actual games from that time period, though.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: They can pierce multiple enemies.
- Right-Hand Attack Dog: The local head of The Mafiya has two purple panthers.
- Right Hand Versus Left Hand: Jacket and the Biker are both pawns of the same mastermind. The latter is marked for death when he starts tracing the calls, and Jacket is summoned to stop him. Who survived the battle at Phonehom, however, is up to interpretation.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Jacket fights his way through an army of police in order to kill the imprisoned murderer of his girlfriend, then fights his way all the way to the local head honcho of The Mafiya.
- Rule of Three: Rooster, Horse, and Owl, the three mysterious masked people who question Jacket's motives between chapters.
- Sanity Slippage: The shop visits between missions eventually become disjointed and surreal, with corpses appearing everywhere, the Sensory Abuse of the mind-trippiness increasing, and the dialogue becoming increasingly Mind Screw-y. Yahtzee even wrote that he thought it was the best portrayal of what it would feel like to be insane he'd ever seen in video games.
- Scary Black Man: The first boss. He returns as a mook that is only vulnerable to guns, and his corpse can block shots, leaving other ranged enemies shooting you in the face.
- Schrödinger's Player Character: A variation. Since Jacket and Biker meet and fight to the death at one point, only one of their plotlines can be canon. What's been shown of the sequel suggests that Jacket's ending is the canon one.
- Sensory Abuse: The bright colours, the flashing, the way the view sways as you move... yep, this disorienting combination of visual elements merges pretty well with the rest of this game's aesthetic. 3/4ths past the game, your screen will fill with static, and as you try to escape the hospital, your vision fills with blurry, white noise to indicate Jacket's about to double over in pain. It's a stealth mission, so you'll need to time your episodes right.
- Sequential Boss: As opposed to the other bosses, which soak up a lot of hits, the final boss is three opponents strung together that go each down quickly. First two panthers who you face in melee, then a ninja who you throw your weapon at to take down, and finally the head of The Mafiya, who uses dual uzis.
- Shaggy Dog Story: Jacket's rampage against the Russian mob after he destroys the police station. In the non-linear Playable Epilogue, it is shown that the evidence folder turns out to be a Red Herring to draw suspicion away from the actual organization who organized the hits on him and his girlfriend. In the final dream sequence, the Rooster Mask straight up tells Jacket that nothing he does from that point on will make any real difference.
- Shoot the Hostage: The objective of Mission 04: Tension, although it's more like blow up the hostage.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Attempting the final level without discovering the hidden password dumps you in the basement of a nondescript building, whereupon the Biker confronts the two janitors who were behind all the killings. They don't respond to interrogation and taunt you into killing them, leaving all the questions unanswered. It's lampshaded by the Chicken-mask-wearing man at the start: "You will never see the whole picture."
- Shotguns Are Just Better: They can kill from a whole screen away, and are the only weapons that can kill the Scary Black Men in a single shot.
- Shout-Out: Has its own subpage.
- Smug Snake:
- The ferret-faced assassin who murders Jacket's girlfriend.
- The Two Janitors only wear a smug, condescending smirk, happily taunting the player over their ignorance. Only in the Golden Ending do you get to wipe it off their ugly faces.
- Sinister Surveillance: The creepy janitors who watch Jacket in his apartment and during his hit for one of the chapters. With good reason, as they're behind the underlying conspiracy.
- Spanner in the Works: The Biker, who, bored of his job and fearing retaliation, goes after those behind the conspiracy.
- Split Personality: Jacket "visits" the room with the three masked personas at the start of each Act. "Richard" wears Jacket's Iconic Outfit, "Don Juan" wears the Hooker's clothes, and "Ramsus" is wearing a mobster suit.
- Spy Speak: Lots of Type-2 speak when it comes to the orders sent to Jacket. More ambiguously, the bearded clerk who appears in different stores to give Jacket something for free just for showing up while making idle conversation. He might be slyly paying Jacket for jobs finished, but it's never made explicitly clear.
- Stationary Boss: The mafia boss remains seated at his desk at all times.
- Stealth-Based Game: Not strictly required, but practicing stealth is much more likely to lead to winning the game than just rushing in guns blazing.
- Stealth-Based Mission: The only instance in the game where the player is forced to be stealthy is a sequence in which Jacket has to escape from a hospital. It's fair to say this was the least well-received part of the game.
- Stealth Pun:
- Stress Vomit: In the first mission, your character vomits next to the body of a man he just killed.
- Stuffed In The Fridge: Sure enough, Jacket's new girlfriend doesn't last long.
- Sunshine Noir: The bright neon colors and upbeat music of the setting combined with the exploration of the game's criminal underworld qualify it as this. Especially in Biker's arc.
- Super Reflexes: The second boss can dodge anything and will also instantly-kill Jacket at close range unless he is busy getting his cleaver unstuck from the wall.
- Super Strength: Possessed by just about everyone in the game. For example, one of the bosses can punch Jacket's brains right out.
- Tactical Suicide Boss: Played with. The Biker is a cleaver-wielding man who kills you instantly if you get close, but mostly keeps his distance. He occasionally lunges at you, which is easy to dodge, and eventually tosses his cleaver at you—it gets stuck in a wall, and he tries to pull it out while you're free to bash his skull open. But in the final chapter you get to relive the battle from the boss's perspective. When the protagonist comes in, you can kill him simply by walking up to him and ending his life with a single cleaver slash, as opposed to engaging in overtly complex and suicidal tactics.
- Take That: The only thing the fish mask, Phil, does is... translating the dialogues in French. A jab to Fez creator Phil Fish.
- The game has a hilarious Take That to its players. If your play style involves a lot of hiding and sneaking, the game will refer to your play style as "COWARD" when the score screen appears at the end of the level.
- Terms of Endangerment: One particular phone call refers to your targets as "VIPs". During your second visit to Jacket's watering hole, the barkeep kicks you out after announcing tonight is "VIPs only," so naturally, the only guests are corpses.
- This Is a Drill: Carl the Grasshopper gives you an electric drill as your starting weapon. Using it as a finisher on downed enemies gives you an large point bonus every time, but the longer-than-usual animation leaves you vulnerable.
- Throw Away Guns: Since you are incapable of reloading guns, it's bound to happen.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Normally averted/downplayed. Throwing a bladed weapon has an equal chance of either landing handle first and stunning the enemy or landing blade first and killing them. Exaggerated with the Jake the Snake mask, which combines this with Made of Plasticine by making it so any thrown bludgeon, blade, or gun will mow through multiple enemies like a hot blade through butter, even if it's lost some of it's momentum and can be perceived as sliding across the floor.
- 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: Even a headshot can't keep Jacket down. However, he is still woozy from surgery, and only escapes the hospital through sheer luck and pluck.
- Title Drop: In the third chapter intro. The phone call is from the "dating service" Hotline Miami.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Much of the game is told in flashback. Jacket is actually lying comatose in the hospital, still alive but replaying his own bloodbaths over and over in his head. He might also be Dead All Along, having been killed by the Biker, though this is up to your interpretation.
- Trouble Entendre: Unlike Jacket, who follows his assignments without question, the Biker's phone messages get increasingly agitated as he ignores them. The last call is from a "funeral home", announcing that his tombstone is engraved and ready to be delivered. "With a little luck you should be getting it before the weekend!"
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: The hospital, oft-cited as That One Level due to its reliance on stealth.
- Unusable Enemy Equipment: Playing as the biker restricts you to using only a meat cleaver and 3 unique throwing knives.
- Unstable Equilibrium: Higher scores earn the player new weapons and masks (which grant the player bonuses when worn). Better players will find the game substantially easier later on as a consequence.
- Unwitting Pawn:
- Hell-bent on avenging the murder of his girlfriend, Jacket storms the police precinct looking for her killer. He then backtraces the calls to the Mafiya stronghold. What he doesn't realize is that his girlfriend's killer was not in the Russians' employ. Wiping out the mobsters only furthers the real antagonist's goals.
- The Phonehom company, which places out the recorded messages for each Hitman. Apparently, their system is bugged, and they don't realize it's happening.
- We Have Reserves: The janitors of 50 Blessings don't care that they'll be killed - there's many more like them. All they need are five more years.
- We Sell Everything: The hippie dude with the square-rimmed glasses is always manning a store Jacket heads to. Be it a bar, pizza parlor, VCR store...
- Western Terrorists: The organization of the animal-masked people, unknowingly under the employ of an ultra-nationalist organization breaking to disrupt US/Russian relations.
- X Meets Y:Dreamweb meets Grand Theft Auto: Vice City meets Super Meat Boy, at least according to Yahtzee.
- You ALL Look Familiar: After each job, Jacket heads over to a bar, eatery, or video store to unwind. Beard is working the counter at each establishment (though thinly-disguised behind hats), and always offers his wares "on the house." After Jacket escapes from the police, he's found dead in every store he worked in, replaced by Richter, who gives you nothing and wants you to leave.
- You Bastard:
- If you make heavy use of silenced weapons, sneak attacks, and hiding, your play style will be listed as "coward" for that level.
- Subtly done with the gameplay and atmosphere themselves. The game plays deliberately like an adrenalin-fueled haze until you kill everyone - then, the music stops, leaving the player to ponder his carnage.
- Outright thrown into the Biker's face at the end of his play through by the janitors, if you haven't found the puzzles. They mock his blind need for violent fun. Given that his primary reason for hunting down the conspirators was because he was bored and sick of his job...
- They also insult Jacket's blind following of orders - there would be no real consequence if they refused, besides threats, and never once in Jacket's playthrough do you find out who you're killing or why - nor do you slow down to do so. The three animal-masked people that predate each chapter also question the violence that the protagonist partakes in, "Do you like hurting other people?"
- The Biker rebels against the evil conspiracy - not because of any sense of morality, or guilt, but because he's bored, and wants to kill some more. Given that the last levels of the game will most likely become repetitive, due to the One-Hit Kill, Nintendo Hard nature of the game, this may be a potshot at gamers who are frustrated with the gameplay and care nothing for the virtual mayhem they cause - only that when it stops being fun, they want it to go away.
- It's also been theorized that the secret ending is a mockery of gamers who want story to their gameplay, by suddenly tacking on an international conspiracy plot that's out-of-genre and doesn't really answer any more beyond that.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Jacket ends up blowing up another animal mask killer who was captured and interrogated by the Mob. Later in the game, the forces behind the animal mask killers send someone to Jacket's apartment to kill him and his girlfriend... not for anything that he did, but simply because they no longer need him. While it's not shown until later, it turns out you were sent to Phonehom to kill the Biker, who had decided to find out who was behind the conspiracy.
Wrong Number contains examples of the following:
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
- Adventure Duo: The Swan Twins, a Brother-Sister Team of killers. The brother, Ash, uses guns and stays behind the playable sister, Alex, who uses a large neon-orange chainsaw.
- Anachronic Order: The game will jump around between prequel stories, sequel stories, and stories in-between.
- Bad-Guy Bar: The Fans regularly hang out in a dingy bar.
- Bland-Name Product: In the game's second level, set in a shopping mall under siege by criminals, there is a "Super Fun Entertainment System" on display.
- Dead Man Walking: The playable mobster known as "The Henchman" senses he's not long for the world, and puts in his resignation from the mob.
- Firing One-Handed: Fatter characters such as Martin, Mark, and Jake fire and reload shotguns one-handed.
- Fission Mailed: Zig-Zagged in "Final Cut". Martin Brown, the actor, is "shot" while re-creating the precinct shootout for a film based on Jacket, Midnight Animal. The actress playing his victim continues to pump lead into him, unaware that the prop gun appears to be real.
- Great Offscreen War: The prequel comic implies that this is the cause of the Russo-American coalition. It also expands slightly on the first game's cryptic references to San Francisco, which is implied to have been some kind of attack or military defeat instigated by Russia.
- Going for the Big Scoop: Evan, the novelist.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted with Alex and Ash.
- Jack the Ripoff: The Fans are a gang of copycat killers attempting to emulate the events of the first game for kicks.
- Level Editor
- Lost in Character: Martin Brown during a talk show appearance.
- Mission Pack Sequel: Wrong Number originally started off as a DLC to the first game. Eventually, the developers decided that it became large enough to warrant becoming its own game and as such they stated that they added little to no changes gameplay-wise.
- Nameless Narrative: Despite the first game doing otherwise, Wrong Number averts this with several named characters such as Martin Brown and Manny Pardo.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: One talk show host looks a lot like Ellen Degeneres.
- Painting the Medium: The game's pause screen is styled like that of a VHS player.
- Sequel Escalation: Hotline Miami 2 is going to have more of everything, according to the developers: more story, more gore, more features (such as a Level Editor), more characters, and more variation in both gameplay and setting.
- Simultaneous Arcs: The game follows various characters and factions.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The song of the main menu has a peaceful and slightly melancholic vibe in contrast with the action that goes on in-game.
- Whip It Good: Wrong Number adds a metal chain weapon.
- You Bastard:
- The unsubtle moralizing in the original is taken to even bigger levels in the sequel with "The Fans", copycat killers who want to continue the same old violence from the events of the first game and are perpetrating the senseless violence. Word of God via Dennis Wedin says that they are meant to symbolize fans of the original game who wanted the sequel to be exactly the same.
- It's been theorized by game journalists that the staged rape in the sequel is another potshot at gamers - sure, fine, they're content with delivering violent torture on nameless mooks, but as soon as something just as unpleasant comes up that breaks the video game-y violence, they complain.
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