* AnticlimaxBoss: In most of the original games, the bosses are poorly-designed--it's a bad sign when the typical end boss is a wall that you just shoot over and over. In the new console sequel, the bosses are much easier than the rest of the game--even the final boss and the ending sequences. However, in Rearmed, the bosses are just right.
** Often, it was easiest in the NES version to just run around the boss and blow up the reactor with a few rockets without killing the boss.
** At the end of the arcade game, after spending a billion quarters fighting your way through the horrible FakeDifficulty, you reach the enemy general... an old man who doesn't fight back, and dies in a couple shots.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqZE4ERq4EY The main theme,]] all games.
** The Power Plant theme, both the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRZswpGr0Hs original NES]] and ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPtHTroVWPM Rearmed]]'' versions.
** From the sequel, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKouJEBuFzs "The Gauntlet."]]
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_UcevtPlag "Preparations."]] Specifically, 1:12-1:47. When you go to face [[spoiler:Super Joe]], that part repeats as you make your way to him, as he engages you in mocking conversation. It's one epic build-up.
* GameBreaker: The Flamethrower + Rapid Fire combo in ''Elite Forces'', even though both aren't acquired until the last quarter of the game, they make the bosses in the two final areas a cakewalk.
* GoddamnBats: A variety across all the games, from the remote-control aces of the NES game to the knife-wielding psychos in Rearmed to the pesky snipers of the sequel.
** DemonicSpiders: In the sequel, you will rapidly come to hate the upper-tier Biomechs.
* HarsherInHindsight: Of all things, the ''Literature/WorldsOfPower'' novelization has an instance of this. Early in the book, Rad Spencer has trouble working the bionic arm, but pulls through. When he gets through the area he speaks to the arm, telling it he'll take care of it, and it'll take care of him. Fast forward to the 2009 sequel, where Spencer's arm [[spoiler: is his wife]]...
* MemeticMutation: The 2009 sequel's plot twist has become this to some, due to how out there and confusing it is.
* MoralEventHorizon: [[spoiler: Super Joe must really love those Bionics.]]
* MorePopularSpinOff: To an extent. The ''Rearmed'' remake was meant to promote the sequel, but ''Rearmed'' is often considered the better game, to the point of getting its own sequel (by a developr made from the remnants of the ''Rearmed'' team after GRIN went kaput) in the same style.
* OlderThanTheyThink: Most people believe that the [[UsefulNotes/NintendoEntertainmentSystem NES]] game came first, but it is a sequel to an arcade game by the same name. Yes, the first (arcade), second (NES), third (UsefulNotes/GameBoy) and ''fifth'' ([[UsefulNotes/PlayStation3 PS3]][=/=][[UsefulNotes/Xbox360 X360]]) games are ''all'' named ''[[RecycledTitle Bionic Commando]]''. Only ''Elite Forces'' and ''Rearmed'' break the pattern.
* PlayerPunch: [[spoiler:Haley]] is killed off rather anticlimactically just before the final boss fight of ''Rearmed''. Just in case you didn't already know [[strike:Hitler]] "The Leader" was evil. Repeated with [[spoiler:Maggie]] in an even less climactic fashion.
* ScrappyWeapon: The machine gun from the NES version. It only shoots bullets, and they have a pretty short range. Your regular weapon, that you ''start the game with'', is better in almost every way -- it has long range, and with a "turbo" button-equipped controller (or Turbo feature in an emulator) fires just as fast. The fact that the machine gun is kind of out of the way, and a little tricky to actually get if you don't know how, makes it even worse.
* SignatureScene: [[YourHeadASplode Master D's head exploding.]]
* ThatOneLevel: Area 6, easily. Introduces bouncing mines and a {{Mook|s}} who spawns helicoptering mines in the first area, has some of the hardest climbing and swinging in the game at the beginning of the second area, and then a really tough and annoying rolling mine segment where {{Giant Mook}}s throw mines which roll down horizontal shafts, ''which you can't jump over -- you need to use the arm to hoist yourself up (which takes time) or use springboards to go over them.'' Yeah, this level is hard, what gave you that impression?
** This level was actually made ''easier'' in ''Rearmed'', with the mines being replaced by non-damaging barrels.
** Although harder difficulties ups the ante to ''damaging'' barrels, including [[NintendoHard one-hit instant kills on Super Hard]].
* TearJerker: The ending of the NES version, with Joe's signature.
-->'''Joe:''' I hope this story will be told for a long time...
** Spencer's youthful exuberance at swinging around hits a sad nerve when you realize why. [[spoiler:[[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory He's only a complete person with the one he loves.]] Subtle.]]