Bio F.R.E.A.K.S. is a 3D Fighting Game from Midway Games, released in 1998. Originally set to be released for the arcades, it received a limited test release in selected arcades, although lukewarm reception meant it was never put into full production. It later received a wide release for the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation instead.
In the not-too-distant future, The United States fell like all great empires throughout history. Fifty states were broken into private territories after the Techno-Industrial Civil Wars. Technology and bio-engineering accelerated at such an incredible rate, and forced an industrial competition of corporate espionage. The government tried to keep control of the country by a single thread, the effect of the giant corporations' ("GI-Corps" for short) white collar wars drove the economy into a tail spin. Neo-Amerika rises as the result of the government bankrupt and technological company takeover.
To maintain order, The Secret Games Commission (SGC) is formed to organize tournaments deciding which organization gets to control all of Neo-Amerika, leading to the creation of Biological Flying Robotic Enhanced Armored Killing Synthoids (Bio F.R.E.A.K.S.) serving as the champions for each participating organization.
Technically, the gameplay features six buttons: two punches, two kicks, shooting and jetpack. Choose from eight different characters, each one gets equipped with a Weapon of Choice. Also, just like Time Killers, characters can get mutilated in the middle of fight and then finish with decapitation or cutting in two halves.
The game received mixed reviews. Some considered it awesome, with Visual Effects of Awesome, different gameplay mechanics and Awesome Music, while others criticized the whole jetpack concept as more of a chasing function than a fighting strategy, and the fact that the shooting attacks ruin the pace of gameplay, not to mention the bad voice acting.
These are the tropes featured in Bio F.R.E.A.K.S.:
- Ax-Crazy: Zipperhead. Psyclown as well, due to having adrenaline constantly pumped into his veins to keep him in a hyperactive state at all times.
- Action Girl: Both Sabotage and Delta are this.
- Artificial Limbs: The Retro classed F.R.E.A.K.S.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Mutilator, the final boss of the game.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Delta is an interesting subversion, she lost her arms in her fight against Minatek. She rejects cybernetic arms and instead uses prosethic arms to mantain her figure.
- Bounty Hunter: Sabotage, who is in the business of hunting down Freak Underground sympathizers to prevent them from disrupting the only thing holding what little of the US still remains together.
- Bullet Dancing: Bullzeye has a special move where he comically fires at the opponent's feet for low damage. However, if they are downed this attack straight up becomes a One-Hit KO.
- Cyborg: All the F.R.E.A.K.S. are this. The level of cybernetic conversion gives the combatant their classification.
- Synthoids are still completely organic and have full regenerative capabilities. At worst they simply have nanotech embedded in their bodies and use carried weaponry.
- Retros are cyborgs in the traditional sense, due to a flaw in the cloning process that causes a breakdown of tissue regeneration over time. They have been "retro-fitted" (hence the name) with cybernetic limbs and weapons embedded in their flesh.
- Dozers are no longer biological, having lost all regenerative capability and simply replacing all flesh with machinery, leaving the only organic element as the brain.
- Clones Are People, Too: What spurs the Freak Underground, feeling that being labeled as tools both by the people in charge of them and those setting the laws of the land is too much and that they deserve better.
- Cloning Blues: The F.R.E.A.K.S. are the product of aggressive cloning technology used to breed enhanced combat warriors in an effort to dissuade larger-scale conflicts that preceded the institution of the SGC (the Techno-Industrial Civil Wars).
- Of note is Psyclown, who is believed to be a clone of the deceased son of the CEO of the genetics firm responsible for creating him.
- Corporate Warfare: What the Techno-Industrial Civil Wars left the United States as a result.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: What "Dozer" class F.R.E.A.K.S. are; just a brain inside a mechanical shell, having endured so much damage that regeneration is no longer possible. Minatek is the only playable Dozer-class character in the game, although Final Boss Mutilator is also a Dozer.
- Dark Age of Supernames: Definitely "Mutilator", albeit befitting the Final Boss.
- Death Trap: Many stages are filled with danger zones.
- Divided States of America: The setting of this game in a nutshell.
- Everything Is Big in Texas: Mutilator, above mentioned, represents none other than the Lone Star State.
- Expy: Delta looks like a futuristic Orchid.
- Finishing Move: The instant kill moves vary from, but aren't limited to, the following:
- Fish People: Ssapo, a green anthropomorphic fish in Power Armor.
- From a Single Cell: The Synthoid classed F.R.E.A.K.S.
- Fun with Acronyms: Bio F.R.E.A.K.S. stands for Biological Flying Robotic Enhanced Armored Killing Synthoids.
- Gladiator Games: The closed-circuit battle pits are treated like this rather than a football game.
- Gratuitous Spanish: Ssapo, it sounds like the Spanish word for "toad" (albeit with an extra S), also counts as a Meaningful Name, as he was created by a renegade faction in New Mexico.
- Immune to Flinching: This game features a Shield Meter, which protects the character only from shooting attacks.
- Javelin Thrower: Sabotage, with the advantage that they act as explosives.
- La Résistance: Called the "GI-Corp Resistance" or "Freak Underground". Tired of being enslaved to an endless cycle of violence and fighting for others' profit, some Freaks have bailed on the games and formed a counter-operative organization. Some are openly rebel (Zipperhead) while others (Delta, Minatek) are merely suspected, with their handlers taking extreme measures to ensure they don't lose control.
- A Load of Bull: Minatek is modeled after a bull.
- Mirror Match: Clonus, the sub-boss, is a Ditto Fighter example.
- Monster Clown: Psyclown.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Ssapo has a wide mouth with very large, pointy teeth.
- Nintendo Hard: Mutilator. Good luck beating her.
- Pinocchio Syndrome: Bullzeye. His main motivation is to become a true human.
- Playing with Fire: Purge.
- Restraining Bolt: The bio-drive within the brains of the competitors. While free will is still possible (although research into full suppression has been going on), the handlers have enough input in the bio-drives to mostly keep the fighters serving their purposes (going as far as wiping out counter-active thoughts). When things go awry there are situations like Zipperhead who ripped his out and went rogue. Ssapo is mostly feral, his bio-drive being directly accessed by his handlers to download battle data into his brain, meaning he doesn't need to think for himself in a fight.
- The Starscream: Psyclown, in the few moments of lucidity he's afforded, wants to kill the head of the cloning company that gave him life (who may be his genetic father).
- Super Soldier: The F.R.E.A.K.S. are essentially super soldiers bred specifically for one-on-one pit fights with ballistics and razor-sharp weapons.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Sabotage is actually a Super Prototype of a Synthoid designed by the same firm as Zipperhead, which is a Dramatic Irony given their enmity due to Zipperhead's allegiance to the Freak Underground.
- Ultimate Victory