The Player Character is a police officer whose goal is to shoot every baddie before they shoot you. You'll go through several missions where you'll eventually be promoted from rookie, to undercover, SWAT and Delta Force. As a Rookie, you'll team up with a hammy and reckless policewoman, taking on gang members, robbers and shoplifters. In Undercover, you team up with a slightly overweight male partner and confront cocaine smugglers, stolen car dealers, and crime lords in locations like nightclubs, construction sites and airports. Next, in SWAT, bank robbers, meth dealers, and crack dealers become the enemies. Finally, in Delta Force, you face terrorists who hijack a shipment of nuclear material, hijack a plane, and attempt to assassinate foreign diplomats. Oh, and don't shoot any civilians, even if they're randomly jumping and waving their arms.
Shoot to choose a trope:
- Behind a Stick: Two enemies in stage 4-2 of Drug Wars appear from behind pillars too narrow to hide them.
- Bikini Bar: The 'strip club' you visit in the Undercover section.
- Bloodless Carnage: As with American Laser Games' other shooters, no blood is shed when anyone is shot.
- Blown Across the Room: Some of the enemies react like this when shot. One of them goes flying toward you.
- Captain Obvious:
Rookie Partner: Holy— This thing'll fry you!
- Your rookie partner on an electrified fence with a sign clearly reading "Danger: High Voltage":
** "You're dead. That's not good, is it?" after losing all your lives.
- The Cameo: Mad Dog McCree himself is one of the hijackers in the Delta mission.
- Catchphrase:Rookie Partner: Let's kick (some) butt!
- Cowboy Cop: Your mission is to shoot first, ask questions never.
- Dead Man's Trigger Finger: The very first enemy in the third SWAT mission causes an explosion when he does this.
- Dissonant Serenity: The stripper and the strip club customers remain completely unfazed while the Player Character engages in a shoot-out with the mobsters right in front of them.
- The Don: The Big Bad of Drug Wars is this.
- Drugs Are Bad: So bad your undercover partner would rather destroy them than take them as evidence. "Winners don't do drugs" indeed.
- Expy: In the sequel, your nemesis is a hilariously blatant expy of Tony Montana, right down to calling the player a cock-a-roche.
- Full Motion Video: The big selling point of this game, as with other American Laser Games shooters.
- Have a Nice Death: When you lose a life, your partner scolds you for your failure.
- Hostage Spirit Link: Shoot an innocent and you lose a life.
- Hot Pursuit: The second half of the first undercover mission has you chasing drug dealers in a car chase.
- I Surrender, Suckers: One of the mooks in the electronics store robbery:Mook: I give up! I give up! Don't shoot me! [draws gun]
- Large Ham: It's a World of Ham!
- The Mafia: The enemies at the strip club, complete with accents.
- Man on Fire: One falls out of the meth lab when you leave it.
- Mook Chivalry: As in other American Laser Games shooters, the enemies always take you on one at a time, rather than all at once.
- No Name Given: Averted with some of your partners. Your undercover partner in the first game is called Spencer. In the second game, your Chicago partner is Stan (the Man) and your border patrol partner is Sam.
- Product Placement: Your undercover partner orders Yoo-hoo at the strip club.
- Railing Kill: The last enemy in the gang fight stage suffers one of these when shot.
- Too Dumb to Live: To be expected in games like this. Stupid civilians and hostages that insist on casually walking by or jumping up and waving their arms.
- Your rookie partner takes the cake: She pranks you at one point by walking in front of you with her gun drawn and pointed right at your face.
- Video Game Tutorial: There's a target practice mission in the first game's Rookie missions, which includes civilian and mook targets. Drug Wars turns this into a Forced Tutorial.
- Slow-Motion Fall: Anyone who falls off a rooftop or over a railing gets this treatment.
- Stuff Blowing Up: A few things explode violently, most notably the meth lab. Sometimes, things explode for no apparent reason.
- A Winner Is You: Your reward for winning in the first game is "Hey, good job in there" and a "The End" badge.