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Method Man is not having a good day.

Def Jam is a 3D video game series published by EA.

The first game, Def Jam Vendetta, was developed by AKI Corporation (now Syn Sophia; known for WWF No Mercy and other wrestling games in Western countries) and EA Canada. Released in 2003 for the Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2, the concept for the game is a combination of Professional Wrestling and Hip-Hop culture, featuring several rappers, mostly from Def Jam Recordings, instead of professional wrestlers. In the game, the player has to pick from four different characters to use in the story mode. In the story, the protagonist's injured friend Manny calls them to ask that they take his place in an underground street fight, and to help him pay a debt to the underworld boss D-Mob (Christopher Judge), who happens to be hooked up with the protagonist's old flame. In the end, after they've beaten all of the other fighters, the protagonist faces off against D-Mob himself. Upon defeating him, they leave with their girlfriend and the ending sets up for the sequel.

The sequel, Fight for NY, developed by AKI and EA Canada again, picks up immediately after the first game. D-Mob has just been arrested and is being brought in to police custody when the car transporting him gets broadsided by an SUV. The player plays as the SUV's driver, a fighter looking to make it big in the fight circuit, and who plans to use the rescue of D-Mob from police custody as the big break he needs. However, after barely any time as one of D-Mob's fighters, the protagonist finds out that D-Mob's criminal empire and his hold over New York has been weakened, allowing another syndicate led by Crow (Snoop Dogg) to challenge his for control of New York. The outcome of this Mob War is going to rest on the the protagonist's shoulders...

Unlike the four pre-set characters in the first game, the player is able to create their own character. The player can also choose between several voice typesnote  and their own fighting style, which is fairly individual to the characters.note  Also, while Vendetta is a wrestling game, Fight for NY gives much more leeway and balance to other fighting styles and techniques, making it a Fighting Game. It is also a lot more brutal. A lot more.

Fight for NY eventually got ported to the PSP under the name of Fight for NY: The Takeover, featuring everything from the original game alongside new fighting styles, stages, and characters. The port also has its own story that serves as a Prequel to both Fight for NY and Vendetta.

Following that was Def Jam: Icon developed by EA Chicago, who were the creators of an entirely different series: Fight Night. Rather than expanding on the formula from the previous games, they tried to make it more like a boxing game with rappers in it, which resulted in being something different from the rest of the series. While Icon ended up being mediocre at best, when compared to the previous entries in the series, it was a severe drop in quality, and thus sunk EA Chicago completely.

Without hold of the license, the future of the Def Jam series as a fighter is questionable at best. Def Jam Rapstar was released on October 5, 2010. Published by Konami, Rapstar is not a fighting game but a karaoke game. And then it caused legal trouble. Lots of it.

This series provides examples of:

  • A Lighter Shade of Black: D-Mob to Crow in Fight for NY - he picks up a sense of honor and respect that he didn't seem to have in Vendetta and deploys Even Evil Has Standards several times.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: In Fight for NY, if the player character fails to claim their girlfriend from Nyne, they'll get Shaniqua instead.
  • Affably Evil: Crack is fairly polite despite being Crow’s champion. He assures Hero he just needs to do one more thing for Crow before he and his girlfriend are released, and eventually turns on Crow entirely.
  • Anti-Villain / A Father to His Men: D-Mob becomes one of each in Fight for NY; he's still a ruthless crime lord who uses an empire of illegal fighting rings to make his living, but he instills in his men that fair fighting and respect are what carry the day and his goal in this game is to keep said empire together and functioning smoothly so that everyone in his crew can continue to thrive, as long as they don't double-cross him. Unless you're playing the PSP version.
  • Art Shift: The mild cartoony vibe of Vendetta was ditched in Fight for NY. Icon stays realistic but implements environment animations that goes even further down the cartoony road, bordering on surreal for an overall style very reminiscent of a music video.
  • Ascended Extra: Those two police officers that are shown arresting D-Mob at the beginning of Fight for NY? Both of them play a larger role in Fight for NY: The Takeover.
  • As Himself: Most of the fighters such as Ludacris, Sean Paul, and Flava Flav play fictional, street fighting versions of themselves. Some of the more important story-related characters have aliases given to them: for example, Method Man is Blaze, Redman is Doc, Fat Joe is Crack, Busta Rhymes is Magic, Sticky Fingaz is Sticky, and Snoop Dogg is Crow. Danny Trejo simply goes by his last name.
  • Ass Kicks You: Certain Blazin' Moves involve landing butt-first into the enemy's spine.note  In all cases, the cracking of bones only makes it more painful.
  • Asshole Victim: Trejo, Sticky, and Crow all reach their deserved ends by the end of Fight for NY.
  • Attack the Injury: This is the key to victory for the Submissions class from Fight for NY. Pick a body part, start going to work on it, and then keep attacking it afterward. And as a bonus, if you pick a limb your opponent won't be able to do as much damage with it after you start injuring it.
  • Ax-Crazy: Sticky in Fight for NY gets worse and worse as the story goes on. By the end, he’s setting a building on fire with Hero, Hero’s girlfriend, and himself inside.
  • Badass in Distress: Your girlfriends are fairly capable action girls, but are helpless to save themselves from Crow’s clutches.
  • Badass Normal: All the fighters. Henry Rollins is especially notable, as he is the only fighter in Fight for NY that has four styles.
  • Bad Boss: Deconstructed with Crow. His mistreatment of his men eventually causes a boatload of them to turn on him in the climax, most damningly being Magic, who was going to kill Hero but instead handed him the gun out of frustration at Crow.
  • Bald of Authority: D-Mob is the leader of a gang.
  • Battle Cry: Your character lets one out whenever their Blazin is activated.
  • Battle Rapping: Rapstar invokes this with their "Freestyle Mode", where a player can pick any beat and drop anything they want on it. The fighting games avert this for obvious reasons.
  • Benevolent Boss: While D-Mob can be verbally harsh when his men screw up, for the most part he wants to keep them and his organization safe. When Hero does a good job, D-Mob gives him a necklace of appreciation. This loyalty makes him better then Crow, whose mistreatment of his men makes them turn on and abandon him.
  • Berserk Button: For the player character of Fight for NY, it's messing with his girlfriend. It's enough that even when he's being blackmailed with her life, he's still demanding her location before he eventually snaps and beats the information out of Magic.
  • Big Applesauce: The first two games are set in New York.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: D-Mob and the player's character aren't the best people around in Fight for NY. Crow is worse.
  • Bling of War: Fight for NY allows and recommends that the player spend their earnings on pimping out their character with different hairstyles, tattoos, clothing, and jewelry. Street cred is everything, after all.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Street Fighting style in Fight For NY consists of a mix of simple punches and kicks, and no more than four grapple moves. What it lacks in the grappling department and overall complexitynote , it makes up for with offensive strength and the simplest style KO: a haymaker.
  • Boss Rush: In Fight for NY's story mode, the final set of fights include going against Doc, Crack and Magic (with an injured Blaze), Sticky in an Inferno Match, and finally, Crow in a Window Match (with the player injured).
  • Breakable Weapons: Pretty much every weapon in Fight for NY.
  • Cartoon Physics: Most of the moves in the games would be perfectly at home in a pro wrestling match. The Blazin' Moves... could never be performed in real life, and even if they could, they'd probably be fatal.
  • Canada, Eh?: Bless is Canadian, not that Fight For NY ever tells you that. Additionally, EA Canada had a hand in the development of the first two games.
  • Car Fu: One fighting area in Fight for NY takes place on a subway platform with the train running through at regular intervals. If the player throws their opponent onto the tracks at just the right time, the last thing the player sees of them is the looks of horror on their faces.
  • Cat Fight: While this frequently happens in Vendetta, it only happens once in Fight for NY. In each game, the player controls the girlfriend they want to move on with.
  • Character Customization: Fight For NY had a surprisingly advanced character customization system for its time. Besides the face and skin color of the Player Character, they can change their clothing, which can also be changed to have certain parts rolled up or worn a certain way, jewelry, tattoos and their hair's cut and color. Though there are some restrictions like not being able to put a hoodie's hood up if the player has long hair. This is without bringing up their fighting style, which can be a mix between a few styles and the player being able to use just about every Blazin' move in the game, whether they be from an existing character or one that is unique to the player.
  • Character Development: At the start of Fight for NY, the player character is a seemingly down on his luck thug who saves D-Mob so he can join the latter's crew apparently for his own ambitions. Once the player character becomes a member, he gradually learns the meaning of loyalty and respect from D-Mob as well as a sense of comradely and friendship from the crew.
  • Characterization Marches On: D-Mob's personality in Fight for NY is completely different compared to Vendetta. Part of this is Character Development, but for the most part it's because we're seeing an entirely different side of him: in Vendetta, he's the antagonist, who the player character hates because he stole the PC's girlfriend, and D-Mob doesn't respect the PC's ability until it's too late and he's gotten his ass kicked. In Fight for NY, D-Mob is the mentor, doing his best to show what it means to be part of a crew, and teaching that loyalty and respect have to be earned.
  • Cherry Tapping:
    • Capone's Blazin' Move sees him land a few punches on his opponent, pause, and then tip them over.
    • Notably, cherry tapping doesn't work in the real fights in Fight for NY. The player can knock them down to a sliver of health that way, but they will keep getting up until the player use one of the designated finishers to put them down for good.
  • Chewing the Scenery: A lot of the voice actors clearly had way too much fun:
    Bonecrusher: "You will be destroyed! YOU WILL BE! DESTROYED! AAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
    David Banner: "Kehhehhehhehheh! You wouldn't like me when I'm...ANGRY, BITCH!"
    Redman: "I'm-a take your tongue out, and lick my AAAAAASS wit' it!"
    Busta Rhymes: Who turned the lights off? Somebody ain't pay the electric bill or some shit? Circuit breaker tripped out or sum'n? Oh, that was me! Pardon me, my bad.
    Flavor Flav: "Hey hey hey hey! Yo yo, like this an' like that an' like this an' like', this? Yeah!"
    Ice-T: You're nothin' but a punk... your daddy's a punk... and your momma's a bitch!
  • Cock Fight: The first dates of the player character in Fight for NY and his selected girlfriend are essentially this in a nutshell. When the player character first meets the girl, he ends up having to fight someone who claims dibs on her. There later comes a genderbent version, where two girls will fight over the player character as well in pretty much the same situation.
  • Competitive Balance: The different fighting styles from Fight For NY all have their different strengths and weaknesses to foster a rough balance. At least until you start using multiple fighting styles and trying to balance the weaknesses of one style with the strengths of another.
    • Martial Artists are the Fragile Speedster class, easily the fastest style with the flashiest moves and generally being the best at defense, especially when it comes to countering blows. The down side for this class is their low damage output and the fact that their finishing move (bouncing off a wall and landing a jump kick) requires very precise timing to pull off and isn't available on all stages.
    • Kickboxers are a Jack of All Stats who excel at using kicking attacks to keep opponents at long range and unable to reach them. Up close they rely on their clinch to grab ahold of opponents and then land several quick blows to gradually wear them down. Their weaknesses are that they're often at a disadvantage during close range fighting, and that their tactics often make them repetitive, which can lose them points with the crowd and make it more difficult to build momentum to a Blazing Move. Their class specific KO method is getting an opponent in a strong clinch while the opponent's health is low; they can land up to 7 blows this way, and when the opponent is dangerously low on health the last blow will turn into a finisher.
    • Street Fighters are brawlers who specialize in fisticuffs, and their knockout punch the haymaker is one of the most powerful attacks in the game, capable of taking off a chunk of an opponent's life bar with a single hit, and capable of doing fight changing damage if several are landed close together. Their weaknesses are their overspecialization (a street fighter's punches are lethal, but their kicks and grappling abilities are mediocre, but relying purely on punches will make a street fighter predictable), and that their most powerful attacks (particularly the haymaker), often have a big windup that allows an opponent to see them coming. Furthermore their strongest attacks also have a long recovery period that will leave the street fighter open to a counterattack if those attacks miss.
    • Wrestlers are the Mighty Glacier: immensely strong and with many powerful, high impact throws and slams, (and they possess some truly devastating moves that can be used in conjunction with either the crowd or a partner in a team match) but slow, not great at defense, and having noticeably poorer striking abilities than the classes listed above. Wrestlers knock out opponents by getting them in a strong grapple, and if opponents are in the danger zone, any move out of a strong grapple will finish them off.
    • Submission fighters are the Mechanically Unusual Fighter of the group; while most other fighting styles aim for knocking an opponent out, a submissionist picks a target on an opponent's body and keeps working it over until the opponent is forced to give up. On the plus side this means a submissions fighter can instantly make up for even a severe difference in health if they can just do enough damage to the target limb to make their opponent give up, handing them a victory even if their opponent had otherwise dominated the match. On the downside, continually using the same holds on the same limb will not endear them to the crowd, making a blazing move harder to build up to, and while the submission style can do a little bit of everything, it can't compete with the other styles in their specialized areas.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Doc provides some hilarious ones, but they're merely the best out of an entire game containing them:
    "I'ma tear out your eyes and stick 'em on your knees and call ya Kneesy!"
    "I'ma take your tongue out, and lick my ass with it!"
  • Damsel in Distress: Whichever girlfriend Hero picks will be abducted and held captive by Crow.
  • Dance Battler: Any character with the "Capoeira" variation of the Martial Arts fighting style, such as Crazy Legs and Sean Paul.
  • Darker and Edgier: Fight for NY. The game features weapons and a darker storyline. Furthermore, it's rated M, and unlike Vendetta, features liberal swearing.
  • Demoted to Extra: Manny, Snowman, House, and Pockets in Fight for NY. The PSP version does this to Crow: instead of being the Big Bad, he's a Disc-One Final Boss. D-Mob stabs you in the back immediately afterwards.
  • Destination Defenestration: There's a type of match and one specific setting in the story mode where it can happen. It's also by far the easiest way to defeat Crow.
  • Dirty Cop:
    • In Icon, halfway through, the player meets a smart-mouthed cop and a silent cop. They will shoot the player.
    • Jervis and Starks become this in Fight for NY: The Takeover.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Troy Dollar in Icon. The game promotes him as the main villain, but after you beat him, you're in for a surprise.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Discussed. D-Mob explains that it's better to run ones gang through respect rather than fear as Crow does, even using the analogy of a beaten dog turning against its abusive owner. Sure enough, many of Crow's surviving crew, like Crack, WC and Magic, abandon him.
  • The Dragon: Blaze seems to be this for D-Mob, as he speaks to D-Mob the most and pretty much takes point after D-Mob is arrested.
  • Drunken Boxing: It is available to the player depending on which fighting styles they choose. Also, Flavor Flav has the style.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: D-Mob becomes a poster child for this in Fight for NY.
  • Evil Brit: Slick Rick, a Mitcham native, is this in Fight for NY, by virtue of being one of Crow's lieutenants.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Slick Rick, who wears an eyepatch and is as formidable a fighter as the rest of the game’s roster.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    • Manny reluctantly does this in Vendetta, but is conflicted and later takes a bullet for the player.
    • Fight for NY:
      • This is played straight with Sticky when he joins Crow's crew out of jealousy.
      • The player character has to do this due to Crow kidnapping his girlfriend.
  • Fat Bastard: Bonecrusher, a hefty man who laughs like a lunatic and works for the wicked Crow.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Crow comes as a fairly laid-back and causal during conversation, but it’s laced with smug condescension and he’s quick to insult and talk down to his enemies and his men.
  • Fragile Speedster: Of the Vendetta protagonists, Spider has the lowest power but the highest speed.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: Briggs from Vendetta - he has a military crew cut and all his outfits are some variation on army uniforms.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: This is basically the player character's journey in Fight for NY. He starts off as someone who couldn't even get into the Fight Clubbing circuit. He first become D-Mob's brute, then The Dragon, and then a superhuman fighting machine who singlehandedly swings the balance of power between syndicates.
  • Fight Clubbing: The entire point of the first two games.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • When the player is forced to fight for Crow, they're depicted as Player 2 in the following matches.
    • Blaze is badly injured and the player gets shoved onto the ground before their tag fight with Crack and Magic. Blaze starts out with less health and the player is already on the floor when the match starts.
    • Likewise, the player is on the floor and injured when the fight with Crow begins since the latter Back Stabbed the former with a Sword Cane just a moment prior. Crow is also holding a weapon when the fight begins.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The cutscene after defeating Crow depicts him dead following a Destination Defenestration. This scene will still play even if the player doesn't defeat Crow this way.
  • Gang Initiation Fight: D-Mob's gang has the player character spar with House before they'll accept him as a member. The whole thing is just there to give the player a tutorial.
  • Gangsterland: The first two games are about gangs and the criminal underworld.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: D-Mob's in prison. The player character went rogue and beat the ever living shit out of every one of D-Mob's soldiers. Blaze, who has been shot and crippled, makes one last-ditch, desperate response. "We went outside the family, called in a heavy hitter from Baltimore." It almost works.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Sticky becomes this concerning the player's character in Fight for NY. This will eventually lead to his defection to Crow's crew.
  • Groin Attack: Redman's Blazin' Move. Share the Male Pain indeed.
  • Guttural Growler: One of the vocal choices for the created fighter.
  • Handicapped Badass: Comp's deformed left hand is accurately modeled, but it doesn't impede his ability to fight in the slightest.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: A surprisingly modern example. Busta Rhymes' "I'm built to smash you, pot'nuh!" intro line hits a bit differently these days.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • While D-Mob is a criminal mastermind, his talk of honor and respect in Fight for NY is a complete 180 from his antics in Vendetta, where he blackmails Manny into betraying the protagonist and tries to shoot them in front of a crowd full of witnesses and spectators. This is lampshaded in the beginning of Fight for NY, when one of the first things Blaze does when D-Mob returns is to call him out on it, pointing out that, because he tried (and basically failed) to rule with respect, his antics in Vendetta caused a lot of trouble, allowing Crow to try to muscle in on his territory and setting the whole plot of the game in motion.
    • WC, Magic, and Crack defect from Crow's crew after they are defeated by the protagonist and Blaze.
  • Heroic Mime:
    • Whomever you play as in story mode in Vendetta. Proof, Spider and Tank have different fighting styles, but regardless of which one you pick the story plays out exactly the same and they never say a word. This is barely subverted with Briggs, who aforementioned only says "Yeah!" or "Woo!" when he performs one of his Blazin' Taunts.
    • This is averted in Fight for NY and Icon, where the player's character has a sizeable speaking role.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Most of the stages that have Ring Outs as a way of winning the fight involve breaking through a barrier of some kind to make the Ring Out possible. Many a player has set up such a ring out for their opponent, only to suffer a sudden reversal and see a couple of quick hits send them flying through the very hole in the ring that they created.
  • I Have Your Wife: "What? You don't recognize your girl's hair when you see it?" This line is amusing if the player picked the blonde Carmen Electra or the red-haired Lil Kim, since the lock of hair Crow taunts them with is always black.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Practically everyone.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • "Looks like you got yourself a morale issue there, brother."
    • "Goodbye, bitch."
  • It's Going Down: Fight for NY has the player character fighting an opponent in a garage, where he has parked right next to their car. He can win the fight by destroying their opponent's SUV. How? By beating their limp body into their own vehicle.
  • It's Up to You: In Fight for NY, the player character seem to be the only fighter D-Mob has who actually wins fights. At one point, Doc claims to be whipping plenty of ass, but the player character is still the one who has to win every single club back from Crow.
  • Jack of All Stats: In Vendetta, Briggs' stats are pretty even across the board.
  • Jerkass:
    • Sticky. Blowhard, traitor and all-round asshole.
    • Crow is also a complete bastard to his enemies and his crew. Unfortunately, this costs him as his abuse of his men causes them abandon him in his time of need.
  • Jiggle Physics: A significantly non-Fanservice example with Bonecrusher’s gut.
  • Kill It with Fire: This is an option in the Inferno Match.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Crow is one of the reasons Fight for NY is Darker and Edgier. He’s a vicious and ruthless mob boss who sucks the fun out of the story the second he or his men appear, with his drive by shooting of D-Mob and his kidnapping of Hero’s girlfriend, forcing him to turn on his friends, being the darkest parts of the game’s campaign.
  • Laughing Mad: Bonecrusher lets out extremely entertaining fits of laughter in his opening and winning quotes.
  • Lethal Joke Character: For all intents and purposes, in Fight for NY, Suspect is this. His appearance is an untextured model of Joe Budden, with the only noticeable difference, aside from the obvious, being the orientation of his ballcap, and his only purpose in the story is to act as a placeholder for the protagonist, since the player hasn't customized their character yet. Suspect also has maxed-out stats and uses the Streetfighting style, which has the simplest finisher: a haymaker.
  • Left Hanging: Because Fight for NY birthed an entirely different sequel and Icon never birthed any sequels at all, their final cutscenes have raised a couple of unanswered questions:
    • In Fight for NY, did the girlfriend actually die or just pass out from smoke inhalation? Did the player character escape the police, or did he get arrested? Were the bonus fights canonical?
    • In Icon, was that the President of the United States, a record company president, or someone else entirely? Why does he want to keep tabs on your character? Who is the mole he's referring to?
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: In Fight for NY, D-Mob wants to play by his street code of honor and keep his hold on New York through Fight Clubbing victories. Crow is happy to subvert this and play dirty.
  • Life Meter: Subverted. It's actually more of an endurance meter. Depleting it does not defeat the opponent, it just makes them weaker. Once they're at the danger zone, the player needs to do a finishing move, a powerful attack, a weapon strike, or something else unorthodox in order to KO them.
  • Lighter and Softer: Icon to the rest of the series. The moves are simple punches and kicks instead of the brutal grapples, the story revolves around helping a media company reach the top instead of gang wars, and none of the environmental finishers apparently kill people, judging by their appearances in cutscenes.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The player character can become this, if they'd like. Crow is definitely one.
  • Limit Break: Blazin' Moves.
  • Loser Leaves Town: D-Mob asks Crow what will happen to the loser of an upcoming bout.
    Crow: Pshh, I don't know... loser goes to Jersey.
  • Made of Iron:
    • While fighting games have never been known for gentle taps and hugs, half of the environmental attacks and Blazin' Moves would kill (or at least severely maim) people in real life. In-game, characters can soak up to ten or more in a row. Furthermore, by the time the player character faces Crow, he'll fight his way through the entire roster, save Blaze, who ends up having his own problems. The entirety of both crews shows up for one last rumble right before the final battle, however, despite the fact that none of them should even be in any realistic condition to fight.
    • In Icon, the player's character gets shot in the face. What does Method Man say? "Thug it out". He can talk. In Fight for NY, Method Man gets shot and crippled about a third of the way through the game, then takes a two-man pounding with a bat near the end and still gets up to join the fight with Crack and Magic and take part in the big battle royal later.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Crow. He eventually forces the player character into working for him.
  • Meaningful Background Event Right after Blaze chides the player for siding with Crow before the fight against Doc, Magic follows him as he walks off. Not much later, you find Magic beating Blaze with a bat in a scrapyard.
  • Mighty Glacier: Of the four protagonists in Vendetta, Tank has the slowest speed and the highest power.
  • Mob War: The plot of Fight for NY.
  • Monster Clown: Chukklez in Vendetta is trying to be this.
  • My Girl Is a Slut: One of the potential girlfriends in Fight for NY is Kimora Lee, the ex-wife of Def Jam founder Russell Simmons.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In Fight for NY, the protagonist is likely to look rather taken aback after a match in the subway station.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The whole point of Fight for NY, which consists on using different fighting styles, slamming opponents against the wall, using melee weapons, and each fighter has their own special move.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Yes, even for a series that's largely In Name Only. Some of the emcees that were in the Def Jam games either spent time under the label before making a switch prior to an installment's development (Flava Flav of Public Enemy, Warren G), while many others were never with Def Jam in the first place (Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, E-40, T.I., Paul Wall, etc). The rappers that actually were with the label or any of its divisions up to the release of an installment are few and far between (Redman, Method Man, Young Jeezy). This is because many of the artists were pulled from the greater Universal Music Group label.
  • Not Worth Killing: In Fight for NY, the player character tells Crow this after Magic hands him the gun. This is subverted when Crow grabs the Villain Ball one final time and wounds him In the Back, forcing the latter to kill the former anyway.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Near the very end of Fight for NY, there's a massive showdown between D-Mob's crew and some allies the player character has won along the way and Crow's gang. It happens offscreen so that the player character can go chase after Crow in his hideout instead.
  • Oh, Crap!: This the last expression on a character's face when they are thrown in front of the train in Fight for NY.
  • One-Man Army: Played with in FFNY. Your character can and will win dozens of one-on-one and likely two-on-two matches over the course of story mode, while displaying superhuman strength and toughness, but he is still just one man and not really capable of taking on multiple opponents at once. If you ever are in a two-on-two fight and your partner gets eliminated, or being ganged up on during one of the 4 man free-for-all matches, you are in serious trouble, as mounting a comeback when facing multiple opponents is a very difficult, even nigh-impossible feat. note 
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: In the story mode of Fight for NY, many of the AI controlled opponents are built around power. Increase your speed every chance you get and you can run rings around them, easily counter their moves, and hit them before they have a chance to react. Similarly, in player vs player matches, speed is seen as absolutely essential in order to be competitive.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In Fight for NY, the Player Character, no matter how he's put together, is a smart aleck hooligan with a sharp tongue that'll make himself heard before, during, and after fights. When Crow blackmails him into fighting against D-Mob's crew by kidnapping his girlfriend, he comes in quiet and goes away without a word, looking grim all the while.
  • Practical Taunt: Taunting builds up your spirit and if you want to use one of your Blazin' Moves, you'll have to taunt one more time once the meter is full in order to go into Blazin' mode.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Each fighter has one before the impending battle of the first two games.
  • Put on a Bus: Many of the original characters and some of the rappers in Vendetta did not return in Fight for NY. In Icon, it's everybody except for Method Man, Redman, and Ludacris.
  • The Quiet One: In Vendetta, Briggs only says "Yeah!" or "Woo!" during one of his Blazin' Taunts.
  • Railing Kill: In Fight for NY: The Takeover, there is a stage that takes place on a boat. Using a Blazin' Move to KO the opponent has them get sent over the railing into the water below.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: In Fight for NY, Crow is easily one of the most difficult characters in the game. D-Mob is not.
  • Regional Bonus: The Japanese version of Vendetta features two new Japanese rappers, Dabo and S-Word.
  • Regretful Traitor:
    • In Vendetta, Manny will feel bad for betraying you due to his debt to D-Mob, and eventually take a bullet to make amends.
    • The player character will be this in Fight for NY, as he find himself Trapped in Villainy/Forced into Evil once Crow kidnaps his girlfriend. The player character, normally a smart mouthed, boastful, and crude hooligan will suddenly turn into The Quiet One and fight without saying a word, with his body language making it clear that he hates what he's being forced to do.
  • Ring of Fire: The fight with Sticky in Fight for NY while trying to rescue the player character's girlfriend. Also, there is a special match type the player can choose that involves this.
  • Ring Out: The Dragon House in Fight for NY has wooden fences that can be broken if the the player uses them enough times to damage an opponent. When it breaks, the player can send their opponent through the hole to do the trope in question.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Sticky in Fight for NY. He starts the game as an established lieutenant of D-Mob, and is always the most likely to dismiss or denigrate your character. As you gain favor with D-Mob and become part of the inner circle, Sticky seems to be losing favor with the boss due to things like showing up late for important meetings. As this happens, his jealousy of and competition with the player character only seem to increase. When Crow suggests a one-on-one fight between members of the gangs to settle the feud, Sticky urges D-Mob to agree, obviously expecting to be chosen as D-Mob's champion fighter. When D-Mob chooses you instead, Sticky angrily storms away. After this he joins Crow's crew, participating in activities like the attempted hit on D-Mob, attacking the player character and informing him that his girlfriend has been kidnapped (and likely was part of the kidnapping as well), and is the one Crow assigns to murder the player character's girlfriend at the end of the game.
  • Rubber-Band A.I.: Vendetta and Fight for NY are notorious for this - expectedly so, since WWF No Mercy and its predecessors were notorious for it and they're all built on the same engine. If you get a character the computer controls in a corner without finishing it off for long enough, the difficulty will spike and characters the computer controls will suddenly become nearly flawless, especially when it comes to countering and blocking your attacks.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Crack, WC, and Magic do this to Crow.
  • Shameless Self-Promoter: In Icon, one of the player's men will get a hankering for "those fly-ass EA games". EA Chicago shut down due to the game's lack of success.
  • Skyward Scream: Many fighters do this during their Blazin' Taunt in Fight For NY.
  • Smug Snake: Crow, through and through. Being Snoop Dogg helps.
  • The Sociopath: Crow is a ruthless mob boss who cares for nothing but his own power. He mistreats his enemies and his men, and isn’t above abducted the hero’s girlfriend and threatening to kill her if he doesn’t turn on his friends.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Subverted with the player character of Fight for NY. For all their cockiness and brutality, he genuinely care about their girlfriend and value the friendship and loyalty of his companions.
  • So Happy Together: The player character and his girlfriend in Fight for NY, are a fairly happy couple with the girlfriend being supportive and encouraging of the player character and he is shown to care deeply about her. So of course, Crow decides to use her as leverage against the player before trying to kill them both.
  • Sprint Meter: In Fight for NY, the meter that controls the player's Blazin' Moves also controls how long they can run for.
  • Stage Fatality: Fight for NY has a few:
    • A subway is one of the playable stages. Play your cards right, and you can end a fight by throwing your opponent in front of a moving train.
    • The player can commit Destination Defenestration by virtue of the windows in Crow's Office.
    • Red Hook Tire Co. takes place in a Ring of Fire. The player can end a match by throwing their opponent into the fire... followed by a wooden beam falling on them.
  • The Stoner: Redman spent a large portion of the campaign in Fight for NY blazed out on the couch.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Icon builds its entire fighting engine on this. Whomever is winning the fight has their chosen music as the background, which gives them tremendous power to manipulate the environment of the fight.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: In Fight for NY, the player has to use stronger attacks to actually KO their opponent, which can range from weapons, to Blazin' Moves, to style-specific power moves. For example, wrestlers need to perform heavy grapples, while martial artists have to perform an attack off a wall.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: See Pre-Asskicking One-Liner.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: D-Mob in Fight for NY is far more affable and honorable then he was in Vendetta. This can be linked to Character Development, as his defeat at the end of that game greatly humbled him.
  • Trash Talk: More than a little. Actually, more than a lot.
  • True Companions: In Fight for NY, the player character clearly values the loyalty of his friends and is reluctant in betraying them, despite effectively having their friendships and reputation tarnished after being blackmailed by Crow. This comes to a head when the player character helps save his last friend Blaze after being ordered to kill him. Afterwards, all of the player character's old friends and allies turn up to help fight Crow's crew, assuring him that they have his back.
  • True Final Boss: Subverted after completing the story in Fight for NY, D-Mob himself challenges the player to a one on one fight. No publicity, no spectators, just the player and him in the middle of a scrapyard. However, whether the fight is actually cannon in the story is questionable at best, and D-Mob isn't much of a challenge, certainly less so than Crow was.
  • Undying Loyalty: The player character in Fight for NY is this to D-Mob, his crew and his girlfriend. This gets tested when Crow abducts said girlfriend and blackmails him with her life and forcing him to fight against D-Mob's crew. Even then the player character is reluctant in doing so and only doing so to save his girlfriend's life, ultimately refusing when the time comes to execute one of his friends. This in turn gets him to rally D-Mob's crew against Crow's once the latter's actions are revealed.
  • The Unintelligible: Sean Paul and Elephant Man.
  • Updated Re-release: Fight for NY was re-released on the PlayStation Portable as Def Jam: Fight for NY: The Takeover, which includes a new storyline, four new stages (one of them in a ship) and updated fighting mechanics — most notably, random pre-fight actions, a mount position, more chances to KO your opponent, extra moves / counters such as dirt throwing, and the option to repeat fighting styles for the created character. However, some things were removed, such as cutscenes, tag fights, the Inferno Match and smaller Demolition Matches.
  • Uncertain Doom: Hero’s girlfriend is last seen unresponsive on the ground from smoke inhalation. It’s never mentioned what happened to her, but how solemn Blaze gets and Hero’s rage doesn’t suggest anything good.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Most of the special match variants in Fight for NY count, where you can throw people into their own cars, a ring of fire, and out of windows.
  • Villain Protagonist: For all intents and purposes, the player's character in Fight for NY.
  • The Voiceless: Suspect. He doesn't even have a Blazin' yell.
  • Weak, but Skilled: In Vendetta, Proof is below average in most stats, but the one that corresponds to how much damage he can do with submission holds is his highest.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The player character's girlfriend in Fight for NY. Near the end of the game the player has to run inside a burning building to save her. When he finds her she's unresponsive from smoke inhalation - it isn't clear if she's unconscious or dead. The last she's seen is the player putting her on the ground outside the building before running off to fight Crow. She doesn't appear and isn't mentioned in the ending.
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?:
    • In Fight for NY, D-Mob provides a justification for not shooting Crow when Sticky suggests this. Namely, it would bring the cops down on their heads to get guns involved. He should know because this is what he did in Vendetta.
    • Crow tells Magic to do this when he hesitates to shoot the player character. This leads to Magic having his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Wretched Hive: The parts of the city where the Fight Clubbing takes place, with maybe one or two exceptions.
  • You and What Army?: Crow invokes this when the player character shows up to challenge him. When a wounded Blaze shows up, Crow is not impressed. When all of the player character's allies show up as well, Crow is visibly stunned. This is further exemplified when Crack and WC leaves Crow's crew to help the player character.
  • You Can Barely Stand: Crow does this to the player character just before the showdown with him.
  • Younger Than They Look: Comp was only 18 when he appeared in Fight for NY. He could reasonably be mistaken for someone in his twenties.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Played for Drama. In Fight for NY, Crow forces the player character to fight for his crew and take over New York's underbelly by keeping his girlfriend hostage with the constant threat of killing her. After a number of jobs for Crow, the player character learns that he was planning to kill her anyways.

You're stalling. Time is money, let's go.

Alternative Title(s): Def Jam Fight For NY