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Video Game / Combat Instinct

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Combat Instinct is a Adobe Flash Rail Shooter trilogy made by McFretN. They are some of the oldest Flash games out there, with the first and second being uploaded to Newgrounds in 2000, and the third following in 2002.

The story has the player battle the Gnork race to defend humanity, in a series of battles that culminate with a nuclear bombing of their world. The aftermath crashes your own ship, but also draws the attention of a seemingly friendly race, the Hrumians, who provide assistance to your cause. However, this only lasts until the defeat of the Gnork, at which point the Hrumians turn their attention on you.

McFretN has also released CI:Unregulated, a spin-off animated short taking place in the same setting


Tropes present in the trilogy:

  • Action Bomb: The fat Hrumian flamers can explode if you killed it by shooting its body instead of head. It's also the only way to acquire its flamethrower.
  • Alien Blood: Averted with the Gnork who bleed red, but played straight with the Hrumians who have bluish-purple blood.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Shoot 1's destroyer's window 50 times to destroy it. Tear through the second final boss' armor to expose his core.
  • Barrier Warrior: Ion Beasts in 1 start with a temporary shield.
  • Berserk Button: Don't bomb the Hrumians' home planet. This is what causes them to turn on you after killing 2's final boss.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Headshots do more damage than torso shots.
  • Cognizant Limbs: The final bosses of 2 and 3 have them. Before you can damage a bomber in 1, destroy its turrets.
  • Death from Above:
    • In 2, The Gnork bomb planets Hivez and Dead Ball.
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    • in 3, The Hrumians use an orbital Ion Cannon to brute force their way into Hivezopolis
    • The Airstrike Weapon in 3's Hivezopolis level calls in a friendly ship to bombard the area. Although this also includes you if you don't take cover.
    • Both the Gnork and Hrumians have fighters to attack you from above.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: For enemy ships. In 2, this happens if you shoot a grenadier's belt, speeder bike's wheel, or rocket launcher's scope.
  • Distant Reaction Shot: The final boss of 2 dies in a huge explosion that can be seen from space. 1 ends with the nuclear reactor being bombed and crashing your fleet.
  • Double Weapon: The combination Heavy Machine Gun and Rocket Launcher in 3. The cutscene shows that both can be used at more or less the same time
  • Elite Mooks: The aforementioned Ion Beasts, and the fat Hrumians in Stage 3 of 3. The latter wield flamethrowers and take far more damage than their kin.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: The Fat Hrumian in Stage 3 of 3 are geared with two flamethrowers, which you can acquire it as secret weapon by looting it from the corpse and pressing "/".
  • Gatling Good: The red Gnork in 1 as well as the Hrumian Gunners in 3.
    • Also available as a pickup in 2, and as another weapon option in 3.
    • The one wielded by Hrumian Gunners can be acquired as secret weapon by holding "Enter" while looting it and then equip it by pressing "*".
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Bombing the Gnork's planet detonates a nuclear reactor, crashing your ship and kicking off the events of 2. The Hrumians, original inhabitants of the aforementioned planet also uses this as an excuse to take over Hivez, resulting in the events of 3.
  • No Fair Cheating: In the third game, if you use Flash's playback controls in an attempt to gain an advantage, "Nice try!" appears on the screen and your health will deplete rapidly.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: After helping you defeat the Gnork, the Hrumians become the main antagonists of 3.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The Gnork and Hrumians both have ion beamers. For the former, you shoot them to stop them from hitting you. For the latter, you have to get out of the way.