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Video Game / Battlestations: Pacific

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"We didn't start this war. But we'll damn well finish it..."
- Launch Trailer

Battlestations: Pacific is an action and Real-Time Tactics game by Eidos Interactive, released on May 12th, 2009 for PC and Xbox 360. It is the sequel to the 2007 game Battlestations: Midway.

In this game, players control a number of different air and sea units from both the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II in the Pacific. The Single-Player mode is divided into the American and Japanese campaigns. The former is mostly the same as to how the battles went historically, beginning with where Battlestations: Midway left off.The latter, meanwhile starts out similarly, with the attack on Pearl Harbor going off as planned, but then shifts into a What If? scenario starting with the Midway battle.

Thanks to Games For Windows Live's shutdown in 2013, the multiplayer portion of this game is more-or-less dead. Unfortunately for users of the PC version, this means that the Downloadable Content (which is only available through the aforementioned service) for this game is inaccessible.

This game provides examples of:

  • Action Prologue: The opening cutscenes, in particular the American one, depict various ongoing Naval and Land battles in Pacific Theater of Operations including but not limited to what appears to be an Airborne assault on New Guinea or the Philippines, an air attack on a US Heavy Cruiser, and a dogfight between a Zero and Corsair over Rabaul.
  • Alternate History: The Japanese campaign as a whole is this, essentially being a What If? scenario where it defeats the United States(complete with a surrender on board the IJN Yamato in San Francisco Bay).
  • Anachronism Stew: Some of the levels in the later parts of the Japanese campaign are guilty of this, such as Corsair fighters appearing in 1942 (the first planes didn't make it to the Pacific until 1943). Though, this could be hand-waved as part of the Alternate History route the campaign is going for.
  • Anti-Air: Both land-based anti-aircraft guns and ship-mounted guns are present in-game, but the most notable example would be the Atlanta-class Light Cruiser and Akizuki-class destroyer, which are essentially the floating embodiments of this trope.
  • Artistic License – History: A lot of the Japanese ships required to be destroyed as objectives in the American campaign were either destroyed by different circumstances or survived later in the war (only to be sunk by a different method). The best example illustrating this would be Takao and Atago in the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal mission. note 
    • Some battles that lasted weeks or even months are squeezed into the span of 1 day. The worst offender being the Okinawa level in the American campaign (which in real life lasted 2 months).
  • Artistic License – Ships: Only a limited number of ship classes appear in-game, resulting in some ships not being of the proper class when appearing in Single Player. One example being the USS San Francisco and USS Helena in the Cape Esperance mission appearing as a Northampton-class and Cleveland-class, respectively. note 
    • In the Cape Engano mission, the battleship Iowa has its signature closed bridge. During the time of that battle in Real Life, Iowa instead had an open bridge configuration.
    • The Yamato in both campaigns features extra 6-inch secondaries, which were removed late in the war in favor of additional dual-purpose and anti-aircraft guns. Here, both ships of the class feature these guns even in the Leyte and Okinawa missions.
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: How the Japanese narrator for the single-player campaign and in gameplay speaks. Ironically, the Japanese commanders sound better when speaking English.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Some of the unlockable vehicles in game qualify in the campaign mode, such as the ASW Fletcher. note 
  • Book Ends: The opening and ending cutscenes of both campaigns begin and end similarly.
    • The American campaign begins and ends with an American soldier and his love interest at an airfield with a C-47 in the background.
    • The Japanese campaign begins and ends with the unnamed Japanese sailor at his house with his wife.
  • Cool Boat: Several, but the most notable examples would be the DLC-exclusive "Super" Yamato-class and the Montana-class battleships.
  • Cool Plane: Several are present on both sides, including the A6M Zero and F6F Hellcat.
  • Damage Control: Found on all ships, which come in different variants based on the damage done.
  • David vs. Goliath: The First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal mission pits the cruiser Portland against the Battleship Hiei.
    • The Japanese campaign's version of the same battle pits the cruiser Takao against the Battleship South Dakota.
  • Downloadable Content: Eidos released three DLC expansion packs for this game in 2009, which are sadly no longer available for the PC version. These included several new multiplayer maps, as well as additional ships like the Montana-class battleship. There are several fan game mods that include the DLC content, however. So you can get the content that way, if you don't mind the legally dubious means.
  • Eagleland: The American campaign is practically full of Type 1, but the Fleet Admirals are probably the best example out of the roster there.
  • Ensemble Cast: Unlike the first game, this one does not have one definitive protagonist, instead focusing on several American and Japanese naval officers.
  • Excuse Plot: The campaign mode for this game, in comparison to its predecessor, comes off as this. In addition, the cutscenes for the single player campaigns are given no context other than showing a random American or Japanese sailor heading out to (and later, coming back from) war.
  • False Flag Operation: The Hidden Objective of Mission 11 involves commandeering a Japanese floatplane, which in turn can be used to scout over the Japanese ships later in the same mission.
  • Fighter-Launching Sequence: Present both in the Stock Footage before some missions, and in-game.
  • Final Battle: The Battle of Okinawa for the American campaign, and the Final Defense of Hawaii for the Alternate History Japanese campaign.
  • Final Boss: The American campaign's biggest final obstacle, set during the Battle of Okinawa, is appropriately, the IJN Yamato. The Japanese campaign, meanwhile, has the USS Iowa defending the approach to Hawaii against the might of the Japanese Fleet.
  • Flat Character: For the American campaign, there's the various American commanders, who are only there to give exposition on the ongoing battles, in an Eagleland-ish manner (especially the Admirals).
  • Flunky Boss: Numerous examples. Enemy capital ships, which are often the primary objectives to be taken out, are often accompanied by a screen of cruisers or destroyers, some of which are also to be destroyed as part of a secondary or hidden objective.
    • The 2nd Naval Battle of Guadalcanal mission has the IJN Kirishima alongside the cruisers Takao and Atago, plus a number of destroyers.
    • The Eastern Solomons mission has the Ryujo being protected by the cruiser Tone and destroyer Amatsukaze.
  • Glass Cannon: Submarines. While they are capable of destroying even the largest ships with 1 torpedo salvo, they are extremely vulnerable to a number of things such as destroyers and attack aircraft.
    • Aircraft carriers as well. Capable of devastating both ships and bases, but are utterly defenseless against surface ships and submarines without escorts.
  • Guy in Back: A standard on all bombers, whether carrier or land-based, in this case in the form of gunners.
  • Hot Sub-on-Sub Action: Averted in the American campaign, where no American submarines appear at the same time as Japanese submarines, but possible in the Japanese campaign, where one objective in the "Hunt for the USS Hornet" is the destruction of a US submarine while in the control of a Japanese one.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Several of the unlockable vehicles in campaign qualify, most notably the Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer. Not necessarily the best ship in the game, but it's a Jack of All Stats in all departments, and doesen't require a gold medal to unlock.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The vehicles that require unlock via getting a gold medal in a campaign mission would qualify, with the best examples being the TBM (late production) Avenger and Iowa-class battleship.
  • It's Raining Men: Paratroopers can be dropped from C-47 transport planes. In the American campaign's Action Prologue, several US paratroopers are also shown jumping over either New Guinea or the Philippines.
  • Just Plane Wrong: The Iwo Jima level has B-17 bombers attacking the titular Island fortress. In Real Life, they were phased out of service in the Pacific in favor of the B-24 Liberator and B-29 Superfortress, although there is an option of changing it to the latter.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: HVAR and "Tiny Tim" rockets are an optional loadout for certain planes in the American campaign, notably the Corsair and TBM (Late-model) Avengers.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Averted. The Japanese get their own full campaign in this game, complete with an Alternate History scenario.
  • No Name Given: Again, the various officers in the American campaign.
    • Same applies to the Japanese officers in their respective campaign as well.
  • Oh, Crap!: We get this reaction from one of the officers in the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal Mission, upon finding out that the Battleship IJN Hiei is the unidentified ship heading towards the USS San Francisco.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: While not really small per se, as they're still the size of other cruisers, the Alaska-class battlecruisers are this. They were designed to counter the German pocket battleships, so they're basically cruiser-sized battleships. Ironically, in Real Life they were never used for their intended purpose and most never saw combat.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: The protagonists of the previous game, Battlestations: Midway, make an appearance in the Pearl Harbor level of the Japanese campaign, and can even be killed.
  • Real-Time Strategy: More like Real-Time Tactics, since no base construction is involved, and units are always divided up to squadron level.
  • A Zero Is About To Shoot Down a B-17 and Hit You
  • Shown Their Work: Surprisingly, the developers put more effort with trying to be historically accurate. This is most notable in the Pearl Harbor level, where they paid a little bit more attention to how the attack took place in Real Life.
  • Suicide Attack: Kamikazes make an appearance in the later levels of the American campaign, starting with the Battle of Leyte and becoming more commonplace afterward.
    • Ohkas, Kaiten manned torpedoes, and Shinyo suicide motor boats make an appearance starting in the Iwo Jima level.
    • In the Japanese campaign, Kamikazes start appearing in the "Road to Hawaii" level. Unlockable ones include the Kaiten manned torpedo and Ohka launcher (essentially a modified "Betty" bomber).
  • Super Prototype: The Japanese have two of these: the Shimakaze-class destroyer, and the Shinden fighter. In Real Life, these ships/planes never had the chance to be mass produced due to Japan's deteriorating situation in the war by the time they were built.
  • The Theme Park Version: The American campaign, especially the later levels, is this to some degree with regards to depicting the Pacific war.
  • Title Drop: The Santa Cruz, Leyte, and Cape Engano missions have this line from each of the USN Commanders:
    "Battle stations!"
    "Battle stations, now!"
    "All hands battle stations!"
  • Types of Naval Ships: Due to this being a game about the War in The Pacific, this was inevitable.
    • PT Boats- The Elco PT Boat for the United States, and the Gyoraitei Torpedo boat for the Japanese
    • Destroyers- The US has the Clemson, Fletcher note , and Allen M. Sumner, while the Japanese have Minekaze, Fubuki, and Shimakaze
    • Light Cruisers- The US has the Atlanta and Cleveland, the Dutch have the De Ruyter, while the Japanese have the Kuma and Agano
    • Heavy Cruisers- For the Americans, there's the Northampton, the British the York, and the DLC-exclusive Alaska, while the Japanese have the Mogami, Takao, and Tone
    • Battleships- For the US, there's the New York, South Dakota, Iowa, and DLC-exclusive Montana, while the British have the King George V and Repulse. The Japanese, on the other hand, have the Kongo, Fuso, Yamato, and DLC-exclusive Super Yamato
    • Aircraft Carriers - The Allies have the Yorktown, Lexington, Bogue, and Hermes, while the Japanese have Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, and Hiryu, and Shoho
    • Submarines - The Allies have the Narwhal and Balao, while the Japanese have the I-400 class.
    • Transport/ Cargo ships
    • Landing Craft
  • What If?: Most of the Japanese campaign's later missions fall under this category, essentially leading to an Alternate History scenario ending with the United States surrendering in San Francisco Bay on board the Yamato.