In the setting of Rocketmen, the solar system is colonized. Humanoids live on all of the inner planets, and most of the moons of the gas giants. However, the earth is under the control of the fascist Legion of Terra, who are allied with the brutal Martians in an attempt to conquer the rest of the solar system. It is up to a few valiant heroes to defeat the Axis of Evil and restore peace to the solar system.
Rocketmen originally started out as a constructible ship game from Wiz Kids, where players constructed fleets of ships. These ships were assembled from polystyrene, which is also used to make credit cards. This game was a tactical space combat game. They also produced seven short video episodes, available on the web here. The first set, Axis of Evil, introduced the setting, letting players select forces from Mercury, Venus, the Terran rebels (good), the Legion of Terra, and Mars (evil). An expansion, Battle of Titans, add Io, Saturn (good) and Ganymede (evil).
Later, Capcom produced a Rocketmen video game, where players can play characters within the setting. Gameplay is a typical top-down shooter, with humorous (and plot-relevant) cut scenes. The first game consists of ten sequential missions, where the player helps foil a plot by the Axis of Evil to build and deploy a gravity gun. A sequel expansion pack - It Came From Uranus - adds three more adventures, where the player frees the forces of Saturn from being controlled by the Axis of Evil.
The central characters are Nick Sion, a stereotypical action hero, his buddy Zack. and the Venusian Alecto Mink. Empress Armada of Mercury also plays a role in both the video game and the movies, as does the Martian Captain Mash.
Clearly inspired by Buck Rogers era serials.
This setting contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Alecto Mink, though she has to grow into it. Armada too.
- Actual Pacifist: The Venusians as a whole. Alecto Mink has to overcome her race's anti-violent conditioning. Venusians accept physical contests such as wrestling though.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: The otherwise human Mercurians and Venusians are orange and blue, respectively. The winged Saturnians have red skin and white hair, but are otherwise human.
- Hulk Speak: the Martians
- Jet Pack: One of the defining tropes for this setting.
- Latex Space Suit: For both men and women
- Ray Gun: Another defining trope for this setting
- Rivals Team Up: The hot-blooded Mercurians and the pacifist Venusians despise each other. Yet they join forces once Nick points out their combined strength.
- The Greys: From Io, but they're allied with the good guys
- Those Wacky Nazis: the Legion of Terra are clearly Wacky Nazis IN SPACE!.
The Capcom video game includes examples of:
- Absolute Cleavage: the female Venusian marine
- Beauty = Goodness: Alecto and Armada are both quite attractive. So is the Saturnian Queen, once freed of the mind control device. The bad guys? Ogre-like Martians, mad scientists, and a sexy Baroness in the form of Ivana in the finale.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: "Go over to the control panel and hit the ACTION button with everyrhing you've got."
- Clothing Damage: In the final fight with Ivana
- Gainaxing: If you play a female character, she visibly gainaxes when celebrating a level being selected, or the end of a level.
- Gatling Good: the Vulcan is another weapon available to the hero
- Mad Scientist: The scientists working on the gravity gun play this trope straight.
- More Dakka: Several of the weapons don't need precise aiming skills, relying instead upon high fire rates.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: one of the many weapons available, and it does a great job of sweeping large areas.
- Storm of Blades: The Razor, another fun weapon you can pick up
- Snark Knight: the Player character
The online videos contain examples of
- Black Widow: Evidently, Armada though it only applies to her husbands. Casual flings are safe.
- Body-Count Competition: between Nick Sion and Armada
- Catfight: Between Empress Armada and the Goddess (ruler) of Venus.
- Pass the Popcorn: During the catfight mentioned above, Nick promptly pulls out a large bowl of popcorn.