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Video Game / Apocalypse

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Explosions? Check. BFG? Check. Hordes and hordes of enemy mooks waiting to be killed? Check. Bruce Willis fresh off finishing The Fifth Element? Check. Time to kick some serious ass!

"Welcome to Paradise, pal."

Apocalypse is a 1998 PlayStation third-person shooter developed by Neversoft and published by Activision studios, and it's widely advertised as one of the first PS games which employs mo-cap technology, to trace the movements and facial expressions from actors into the game's models.

Esteemed '80s and '90s action icon, Bruce Willis, lends his voice and likeness to the game as Trey Kincaid, a former SpecOps soldier in a futuristic megacity somewhere in the United States. In the future, a man known as The Reverend rules over society as a powerful and influential opinion leader, but unbeknownst to all, the Reverend is actually a power-hungry and evil scientist who leads an Apocalypse Cult. Learning that the awakening of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse which will spell mankind's extinction, the Reverend decides to abandon humans by summoning the horsemen first, making himself their leader and master, and a herald of mankind's extinction.

Trey Kincaid, formerly a colleague of the Reverend, finds out the truth, but ends up being imprisoned for his efforts. Escaping prison, Kincaid is a lone warrior against the four horsemen...

Not to be confused with the comic book character.

As the Apocalypse draws near, the Troper readies his keyboard and...

  • 1-Up: Kincaid starts the game with five lives, and each level would contain at least two bonus lives (marked by a huge yellow "+1"). Dying at any point of the game will have Kincaid regenerating from the nearest checkpoint, should he have at least one extra life remaining.
  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: The second level is set in the sewers underneath Paradise Prison, which is large enough to contain waterfalls at various points, in addition to having loads and loads of mutant mooks.
  • Acid Attack: Some of the mutant enemies can blast Kincaid with acid, including the second horseman, Plague. As well as leaving an acid trail that can drain Kincaid's health upon contact.
  • Actor Allusion: The rooftop level have Kincaid (being voiced and mo-capped by Bruce Willis) jumping onto the roof of a hovering taxi, where he then flees from enemies by leaping from one vehicle to another, in a clear allusion to Willis' then-recent The Fifth Element.
  • Actually a Doombot: Kincaid assumed he had destroyed the Reverend after defeating War, only to find out later on that the Reverend had taken over the President of the United States and is now in control of the last horseman, Beast.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: Quite a few.
    • The "run first, fight later" variant shows up in the city level against the helicopter boss, where Kincaid, on a long catwalk, must run like crazy while an absurdly powerful Boss in Mook Clothing helicopter spams missiles behind him, destroying the catwalk. Once Kincaid reaches the end, he automatically gets on a building's rooftop (filled with power-ups, but also more enemies) — cue boss battle.
    • Inverted in the Plague boss battle. She first attacks from a distance, but once her health is halved she then traps Kincaid on a platform and chases after him, where Kincaid must keep running with Plague in pursuit while firing behind.
    • The War boss battle starts with Kincaid fighting War up close, but after a while War then grows himself into a fifty-foot behemoth, and Kincaid must run through a corridor leading to a river of lava with floating platforms. Can't outrun War, and Kincaid dies via Giant Foot of Stomping. Unlike other examples of this trope, there's actually a dead end — reach there without killing War, and War crushes Kincaid on the spot.
  • Airborne Mooks: Mooks on jetpacks, who shows up in large numbers in the rooftop stages and the interiors of the war factory. They can be a real headache for players without Homing Missiles or Smart Bomb.
  • Armies Are Evil: The US Army and their related branches have all been converted into the Reverend’s worshippers, having decided to forfeit their soul for power and will stop at nothing to hunt down Kincaid.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Unusually for this type of games? The final level ends with the Beast being revealed as the Reverend, who then takes over the victorious Kincaid as his next host.
  • Big Bad: The Reverend, a false prophet who serves as the main antagonist of the game.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Kincaid's default machine gun never seem to run out of ammunition. He's never shown reloading it either, although it could be a piece of futuristic technology.
  • Bottomless Pits: Most levels contains these obstacles over multiple platforms, and missing a jump means instant death from Kincaid, necessiting to restart fro the most recent checkpoint. There's even a cheat code that allows Kincaid to fall literally forever.
  • Boss Arena Urgency:
    • In the final stages of the battle against Plague, she will trap Kincaid in the middle of a platform and relentlessly pursue him. While the platform is reasonably huge, Plague leaves entire puddles of acid wherever she steps, necessiting Kincaid to kill her before he runs out of places to step on.
    • The last part of the War boss fight, where there's a dead end — Kincaid must defeat War before reaching there, or else be squashed the moment War catches up. Players would know the dead end is coming close — when the game start generously throwing rocket-launchers for them to pick up...
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: In several levels, including the caverns scene in the sewers, floating platforms in the war factory, and rocks on lava outside the White House, some of those surfaces will collapse when Kincaid lands on them, where he must jump to the nearest adjacent surface or lose a life. It's easy to tell which surface is stationary and which is collapsible based on the surface texture.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Trey Kincaid is a Bruce Willis character, so that goes without saying...
    Kincaid: [after blowing off a mook's head] "Can't we all just get along? No, we can't!"
  • Elite Mooks: The Secret Service members of the White House, whom had become goat-headed Satanists, capable of summoning fireballs to attack Kincaid. They can absorb a lot of damage compared to other human enemies, although it could be the result of the Beast's influence.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: What the Reverend is planning by summoning the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and what Kincaid is actively trying to prevent. While he succeed in the final level by killing the fourth and final horsemen, Beast, the Reverend instead took over Kincaid, so the apocalypse will ‘’still’’ happen
  • Evilutionary Biologist: The Reverend, who create the vessels for summoning the four horsemen to herald the apocalypse. He’s also capable of creating mutant abominations out of prisoners, many which shows up in the first level.
  • Faceless Mooks: Most of the human-based enemies wears masks, balaclavas or otherwise have their faces obscured, which removes whatever little guilt there is when slaughtering them.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: This is the trait displayed by people possessed by the four horsemen, whose eyes begin glowing before transforming to their powerful, One-Winged Angel forms. And also Kincaid himself AFTER the Reverend decide to possess him after the final battle.
  • The Grim Reaper: Horseman number one, Death (actually Kincaid's friend Lawrence, having sold his soul to the Reverend), who turns into a Grim Reaper-esque skeltal figure armed with a massive scythe, which he uses to attack Kincaid.
  • Grenade Launcher: Grenades are among the power-ups Kincaid can use, starting in the second level where Giant Mook enemies started showing up. Their range are mostly short, but it's made up by the amount of Splash Damage capable of wiping out entire platoons of enemies in seconds, if used correctly. They also come in useful in the city rooftop stage for attacking enemies below Kincaid.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: The Tractor Beam can be used to vapourize entire chunks of flesh from mooks, where victims will be reduced to a staggering pair of legs before keeling over after some time.
  • Hell Hound: Part of the deal from the Reverend's summoning of the four horsemen, which results in gigantic red-eyed hounds from the bowels of hell showing up in a few levels. The supernatural-themed ones, to be specific (like graveyard and the White House, which serves as a portal for unleashing the forces of hell). They usually serve as Giant Mook(s) in the game.
  • Hellish Copter: Helicopters started showing up in the city levels, in various sizes, and Kincaid is free to blast them out of the sky if he's well-equipped. There's also a cutscene where a crashing chopper nearly flattens Kincaid.
  • Hollywood Satanism: The Reverend's source of powers, which he received by worshipping the four horsemen. From Demonic Possession to summoning fireballs and creating zombies and unleashing the One-Winged Angel form of the horsemen...
  • Homing Projectile: These are the first power-ups available, once Kincaid reaches the first platform in the prison scene, and they're among the most convenient weapons players can get. The damage may be small, but these missiles can lock on targets with ease, fires more than twenty rounds before being depleted, and works wonders on jetpack mooks.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: They serve as the main antagonists of the game, with the Reverend summoning them in the opening cinematic and in control of their powers, intending to use them for unleashing doomsday. All four of them shows up as important bosses for Kincaid to defeat.
  • I Have a Family: Surprisingly enough, it's the mooks who says this... while they're shooting at you.
    Random soldier: [firing at Kincaid] "Don't shoot, I have wife and kids!"
  • Lightning Gun: The awesomely-named Rip Laser can fire jagged purple bolts of electricity, and can arc from one target to another.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The first half of the factory level is populated entirely by robotic mooks, of the two-legged Chicken Walker variety.
  • A Molten Date with Death: In the last stages against War, who had turned into a thirty-meter tall behemoth, upon defeat War will collapse and burn in lava.
  • Motion Capture: The animations for Kincaid is done by mo-capping Bruce Willis' face and movements on a 3D-Model (check out the behind-the-scenes stuff here). Unsurprisingly, this also makes Kincaid an Ink-Suit Actor of Willis during cutscenes.
  • Mutants: In the first level after escaping his cell, Kincaid then triggers a switch on a panel causing all the cells to open, releasing hordes of mindless mutanted human enemies whose arms are grafted with blades, and attacks everything on sight. Later on more mutated abominations will show up in the sewers underneath the prison, which makes sense because the prison also doubles as the Reverend's laboratory and it's where the mutation-inducing chemicals gets disposed of.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: The graveyard level is populated by zombies, unsurprisingly. The Death and Plague bosses can also summon zombies to attack Kincaid.
  • One-Hit Kill: All of the four horsemen have this ability. Getting hit by Death's scythe, Plague's acid spit, stomped by War for failing to outrun him, and gored by Beast's talons.
  • One-Man Army: Kincaid, who slaughters enemies by the dozens.
  • One-Word Title: It’s just “Apocalypse”. Although some covers will bafflingly label it as Bruce Willis: Apocalypse.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The game will throw zombies at Kincaid, either summoned through portals as seen in the Death boss battle or rising out of their graves before the Plague boss fight. There are also zombies who can chuck grenades towards Kincaid.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Kincaid doesn't press switches on control panels, he kicks them. Usually happens in levels set within interiors, like the prison stage. He also smashes a control panel with the back of his machine-gun during a 3D cutscene.
  • Pillar of Light: The first two horsemen, Death and Plague, will shoot vertical beams of energy into the air from their succumbing bodies once Kincaid kills them. The third, War, might have this ability, but as he sinks and dissolves into lava upon defeat it isn't confirmed. The fourth, Beast, on the other hand simply reverts back to human form, turning back into the Reverend.
  • Plasma Cannon: The Pulse Laser power-up which you receive at the end of the first level, before showing up regularly later on. It fires fast-moving, powerful bolts of green plasma, and is also among the more economical weapons in terms of ammunition consumption, capable of doing severe damage while holding plenty of rounds.
  • Platform Hell: As Kincaid, you’ll be jumping a lot throughout the game. Ranging from suspended catwalks to rocks floating on lava, flying mechanical platforms, pillars of rock, and the like. Of course, miss a jump and it's losing a life and back to the nearest checkpoint for Kincaid.
  • President Evil: Subverted. The President of the United States was believed to be the final horseman, Beast, only for the final scene to reveal the President is just a puppet under the Reverend’s control.
  • Prison Escape: The first level have Kincaid escaping from "Paradise", a prison owned by the Reverend and controlled by his brutal enforcers. Kincaid escapes his cell, makes his way through corridors full of guards, jump over platforms, fight off plenty of mutants from the prison's labs, and eventually made it to the courtyard exit where he must defeat a tank before escaping.
  • The Reveal: The Reverend was believed to be the third horseman, War, with the President of the States being the last and most powerful of all, the Beast. Turns out that’s NOT the case; War was destroyed by Kincaid destroys a few levels ago, but the Reverend and the final horseman, Beast, had taken over the President’s position as the rule of the free world, and upon defeat the Beast then reveals his true form as the Reverend
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Giant rats shows up in large droves in the second level, the sewers. Their squeaking can be heard from a mile away, although in later levels they seemed to be replaced by Hellhounds as the standard Giant Mook enemies.
  • Sentry Gun: Turrets are a reoccurring obstacle throughout the city levels and around the White House, although they're strationary they don't really pose too much of a threat.
  • Sequential Boss Fight: The four horsemen. ALL of them.
    • Death begins by summoning hordes of zombies, which Kincaid must defeat while shooting back. Once Death realize zombies aren't going to cut it, he then plunges his scythe into the floor electrifying the surrounding area, which Kincaid must dodge while observing his attack patterns, before fighting Kincaid up close.
    • Plague begins with trapping Kincaid in three platforms, the middle which contains a fire-spewing disco ball which Kincaid must dodge the flames (by jumping between platforms) while shooting Plague. Once Plague's life is down, she ditches the disco ball attack and uses her ranged acid instead, before ultimately deciding to corner Kincaid in one single large platform, where she will pursue him relentlessly.
    • War uneleashes a few easy-to-destroy turrents, before facing Kincaid personally with his Shoulder Cannon, in addition to a BFS if Kincaid gets too close. Once Kincaid wipes out most of War's health, War then enlarges himself to fifty-foot, resulting in the Advancing Boss of Doom stage.
    • Beast is a Damage-Sponge Boss with multiple healthbars Kincaid must deplete. In each of his form he have different abilities; it starts with fireballs (first lifebar), and then a repeated Shockwave Stomp where Beast leaps all over the place with each landing resulting in a shockwave that Kincaid must jump to avoid, before finally fighting Kincaid from up close.
  • Sewer Gator: The sewer stage ends with Kincaid battling a humoungous alligator at the sewer's exit. It's more annoying that difficult, since the gator has a tendency to sink underwater and ambush Kincaid, while Kincaid can only damage the monster when it resurfaces (It's weird, the water's barely up to Kincaid's waist).
  • Shout-Out:
    • Sometimes during the shootouts, Kincaid will quote Private Hudson from Aliens.
    Kincaid: [shooting his way through mooks] "Oh you want some? You want some too?"
    • The robot security from the factory seems to be downgraded copies of ED-209s.
  • Sinister Scythe: Wielded by the first horseman, Death. It's a massive scythe made of light.
  • Smart Bomb: Kincaid's second power-up, which is simply called "Smart Bombs". They release a massive radius upon detonation and can clear the area of large amount of enemies in an instant. Also, it's literally impossible to defeat the third horseman, War, without this particular weapon (being the type of boss that pursues you, the Smart Bomb can knock him over for a few precious seconds, allowing Kincaid to counter-attack before he gets back to his feet).
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Well, of course. As Kincaid, players can use missiles, rockets, grenades, the above-mentioned Smart Bomb, and also the fact that most levels are filled to the brim with propane tanks, gas cylinders, oil drums, all which blows up after a handful of shots. It's as entertaining as it sounds.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: The Final Boss, Beast, upon defeat, reveals himself to be NOT the President of the States, but in actuality, the Reverend, having taken over the President. As Kincaid attempts to finish him off, the Reverend’s soul then took over Kincaid’s
  • Super Window Jump: In the 3D cutscene after Kincaid is forced to kill his friend, Lawrence (since Lawrence is revealed to be the first horseman, Death), he suddenly notices a helicopter armed with missiles outside the apartment. That is followed by Kincaid leaping through the nearest window as the apartment blows up behind him, in a scene that doubles as Actor Allusion towards Die Hard.
  • Tank Goodness: The exit of the prison level ends with a boss battle against an absolutely massive tank, who tries to rough up Kincaid with missiles and built-in flamethrowers. Several other tanks reappear in the city levels as Degraded Boss, including two of them who serve as Dual Bosses.
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: Averted wonderfully. Flamethrowers shows up right in the first stage (it's among the first powerups introduced) and can turn mooks into a Man on Fire with a single touch. Used on a group of mooks and there will be rows and rows of burning flesh.
  • The White House: The game’s post-final level is set right here, with Kincaid marching up to the Oval Office to confront the President of the States, believing the President to be the last horseman, Beast. It’s also overrun with corrupted military personnel, Satanists, and all sorts of monsters from hell, which makes sense because in the main office isn’t the President, but the all-powerful Reverend who had taken over the President’s place.