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Video Game / Drill Dozer

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Drill Dozer (known in Japan as Screw Breaker) is an action-Platform Game for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance, developed by Game Freak. (Yes, the same Game Freak who created Pokémon).

The main character, Jill, is the daughter of the boss of a group of Loveable Rogues called the Red Dozers. The Red Diamond given to her by her now-deceased mother is stolen, and her father is injured, so Jill must go get her gem back on her own, with only her trusty Mecha-Suit-With-Drills-For-Arms Drill Dozer, The Mentor, the Mechanic, and their Base on Wheels to help her.

The game's cartridge is noteworthy for being significantly larger than the standard GBA game, as it has components for a rumble feature.

Not to be confused with the villain Drill Dozer from Hero Factory season 2.

This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly-Long Limousine: A variant involving a truck that still counts. At the end of the game, after the original Drill Dozer truck was destroyed in the final adventure, the Red Dozers order a brand new truck that can contain the whole crew (because the original base was destroyed). This incredibly long truck shows up, and the whole crew board it, and it drives off. The truck takes up the whole screen for several seconds before the end of it shows up.
  • Action Girl: Quite a few. The heroine herself, Detective Carrie, The Magnet Sisters count and perhaps the most overlooked of them all, Jill's mother.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The first act of the final Area. Croog stops fooling around and launches a massive drill missile that destroys the outside of the Red Dozer's base and starts drilling into the lower levels with the intent of exploding in the deepest part, where Doug, Jill's father, is recovering. The second area, however, turn the tables around.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Costumes that change Jill's look at the main menu can be unlocked at a hidden room. Among them are Pokémon, Pulseman and Mario costumes.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When Jill gets taken away by a police trap, as the police chief reads her crimes, she gets accused of breaking into the Skullker HQ, robbing the Art Museum, defiling the ruins where the Blue Diamond was, causing havoc at Metal City, and 17 counts of skipping restaurant bills.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Diamonds cause a wide variety of trouble due to their immense power causing every villainous person to covet them, but the Yellow and Blue Diamonds are particularly problematic, with the Yellow Diamond being an Artifact of Attraction that made Detective Carrie Brainwashed and Crazy with Gold Fever, while the Blue Diamond is Sentient Phlebotinum that possesses first a statue than a Synchronized Swarming of fish in order to fight Jill itself. However, the doomiest of all the Diamonds turns out to be the Black Diamond, which possessed Croog and compelled him into becoming a Card-Carrying Villain, and once Jill punches him in the face hard enough to both knock it out of him and shatter it, he completely loses any desire to fight her and runs away crying.
  • Artistic License – Biology: One of the treasures that can be found is a jellyfish bone. Needless to say, jellyfish in real life don't have bones.
  • Attract Mode: Features a no-damage run of three rooms.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Every single boss is given some weakness to drills, and it's almost always some big, flashing hole.
  • Bag of Spilling: Every level ends with the Drill Dozer losing its Second and Third Gears, reducing it back from the infinitely-spinning Third to the few-seconds-long First, so that the first 2/3 of each level are still challenging. The game justifies this by having the Drill Dozer be rather shoddily constructed, being unable to withstand infinite drill power for long before breaking down and the upper gears becoming unsalvagable, leaving only the First Gear still working properly.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Croog is self-absorbed and easily flustered, but he can back up his threats quite handily. In the second last level he thrashes the Red Dozer's base with full intent to kill Jill's father and when that fails he unleashes his ultimate weapon: the Doom Dozer to wreak havoc in the city.
  • BGM Override: Upon collecting the Third Gear, Jill's Theme Music Power-Up plays for the rest of the level, until the boss fight. It's worth it.
    • The final levels don't play the Third Gear theme in order to highlight the direness of the situation.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Jill's got big eyebrows, but her father's unibrow is epic.
  • Bookends: The game starts and end with the Red Dozers fighting the Skullkers.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The Secret Areas which you must unlock by buying a map for 300 chips. Every single one of these areas requires use of advanced techniques and demands a level of precision from the player that's far above from the normally tame regular stages.
  • Charge Attack: The Gear Up mechanic where you have to keep the shoulder buttons pressed in order to trigger the 2nd and 3rd Gears.
  • Colossus Climb: The boss of Area 5.
  • Company Cross References:
  • Conspicuous Electric Obstacle: Early in the game there are broken floors with exposed wires, creating electricity. Later in the game, there are specialized electric floors.
  • Continuing is Painful: Pay 50 chips (10 in Hard Mode), and you're put back at the entrance of the room with full health. There are plenty of chips around, but a poor performance will hurt your progress at buying upgrades.
  • Cute Bruiser: Jill is an adorable little girl who wields some pretty potent power through her Drill Dozer. The final "battle" also shows that she's pretty physically strong without the Dozer too.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Area 4 features Jill doing something stupid that would never happen during gameplay: she leaves on a truck that is clearly not the right one, before being knocked out and captured by a couple of mooks that in regular gameplay are unable to even hit her on their own because they always attack out of range!
  • Destroy the Security Camera: You can do this several times at the museum. This does not seem to actually contribute to the plot, it just is a way to get chips.
  • Dirty Cop: The Commissioner. He's on Croog's payroll and a note found in the Museum clearly orders the Police to harass the Red Dozers, but leave the Skullkers alone. Clink Prison even has Skullker mooks working as prison guards.
  • Double Unlock: An awkward example is the Soundstone treasure in Area 1-2. To actually listen to the soundtrack you must collect it and then unlock the Soundstone at the password room. Furthermore, to use passwords you need to insert a master code first.
  • Drill Tank: The titular Drill Dozer is a squat mecha armed with a powerful drill that only gets more powerful when you collect gears.
  • Evil Laugh: Every time Croog believes he's got one over Jill and Co., he lets out a high-pitched "Mwa-ha-ha!"
  • Gold Is Yellow: The gold in the museum vault is more a shiny yellow in color. Also, arguably, the Yellow Diamond.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: The Magnet Sisters frequently pop up to menace Jill.
  • Good Parents: We don't see Jill's parents much, with her dad Doug being hospitalized and her mother being straight up dead, but it is made clear Jill's parents are loving and protective of her. Jill's mother in particular won't let death keep her from helping her daughter.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: The opening of the first stage features a trap-door opening under Jill while she looks around, with her staying airborne until she looks down.
  • Green Rocks: The various Diamonds throughout the game exhibit a wide variety of effects when used, to the point there's practically nothing they can't do.
  • Guide Dang It!: A minor case. How many times did you have to go through the first part of the Drill Missile before you realized you had to spin the red drill shaft backwards? Blue objects are the ones supposed to be spun backwards.
    • Good luck figuring out the codes for special rewards, or even finding it without any guides in first place.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Hard Mode turns Jill into a One-Hit-Point Wonder, but also lowers the respawn cost from 50 chips to 10 chips.
  • Heel–Face Turn: For a given value of "heel" and "face", but Detective Carrie eventually comes around to accepting our "heroes" aren't all bad.
  • Hero Antagonist: Detective Carrie, who's just trying to do her job stopping criminals like our main cast.
  • Heroic Mime: While Jill does speak directly in the prequel short comic, during the game she never utters a word in text, with her thoughts only known through other characters responding to her inferred words.
  • Heroic RRoD: The Drill Dozer frequently ends up being pushed to its limits in each level, causing it to break down, lose its booster gears, and need repairs, as a justification for the Bag of Spilling effect. But what truly exemplifies this is when the Drill Dozer completely breaks down after destroying the Big Bad's superweapon, and right before the confrontation with the game's Final Boss no less, leaving Jill with only the ability to jump.
    Grutch: We chased Croog all this way and NOW the Drill Dozer falls apart?!
  • Honor Among Thieves: The Red Dozers may be a gang of thieves, but most of the time they prefer to get their loot via treasure hunting and only steal from those who are cruel and already financially stable.
  • Humongous Mecha: A good share of bosses are utterly gargantuan mecha that make our Mini-Mecha look even tinier by comparison.
  • Item Get!: A pretty extravagant effect occurs when Jill raises collected items over her head.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Detective Carrie is remarkably voluptuous with both broad hips and large breasts. Her exaggerated figure is especially noticeable in the silhouette picture of her in the credits.
  • Jiggle Physics: It's quite easy to miss, but Carrie's walking sprite has her ample chest bounce quite a bit. Surprising for this sort of game.
  • Marathon Level: The levels are long, but gimmicks and puzzles are well spread around to avoid repetitivity.
    • Clink Prison, however, stands out since it's basically two areas combined into one and together with its tricky boss fight you can take easily more than 20 minutes to finish it.
  • Mercy Invincibility: After getting hit you get a few seconds of invincibility.
  • Mini-Mecha: The Drill Dozer is a tiny machine that's barely bigger than Jill.
  • Mishmash Museum: Area 2 is a Museum that hosts panting, art exhibits... and also has a vault full of gold for some reason.
  • No-Gear Level: The opening of Area 5-1 has the Drill Dozer prevented from using its abilities and unable to jump more than one block, temporarily enforcing a Stealth-Based Mission, which is because Jill is imprisoned and separated from the Dozer, which is powered by a diamond until it finds her, and thus barely functioning without a pilot. The irony being that you're playing as said gear for this instead of the other way around.
  • Non-Lethal Bottomless Pits: Bottomless pits and One-Hit Kill obstacles set you back to the beginning of the room, while dealing a little damage.
  • Numerical Hard: Hard Mode turns Jill into a One-Hit-Point Wonder and that's about it.
  • Parental Abandonment: Subverted, as Jill's father, Doug, is still around, just out of commission for the entire game. Jill's mother passed away when she was just a baby but her spirit lingers on the Red Diamond and she uses this power to help Jill break out of Clink Prison.
  • Post-End Game Content: After finishing the game you can buy the Mega Bit which allows you to break silver blocks and find every treasure scattered through the levels. The game is also kind enough to point how many treasures are in each stage.
  • Punched Across the Room: Certain Skullker robots, most notably the ones in the fifth secret area, can fling Jill away with a single hit. There's also Jill physically punching the final boss.
  • The Power of Love: When Jill is captured by a police trap, and separated from her Drill Dozer, it pilots itself back to her, through the power of her deceased mother's spirit via the Red Diamond.
  • Recurring Boss: Croog repeatedly appears as a boos due to being the Big Bad whom Jill and Co. are chasing to get the Red Diamond back. Another frequently faced boss is Detective Carrie's Policebot. There's also the Magnet Sisters who are fought twice in the game.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: Jill has pink hair and is a Lovable Rogue of a Kid Heroine.
  • Scary Scorpions: The first boss is Croog's Scorpion Dozer. It attacks exactly how you'd think it would.
  • Schmuck Bait: Jill falls for a rather blatant trick after defeating the Drizzler. That truck is obviously suspicious and she still hops on?!
  • Shout-Out: The Skullker mooks bear more than a passing resemblance to the Shocker Combatmen from Kamen Rider, only in white rather than black.
  • So Proud of You: Regardless of your final rank, Doug will express how proud he is of Jill at the end of the game.
  • Sound Test: The Soundstone option.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff: Many attacks can be deflected with your drill running.
  • Steam Vent Obstacle: There are pipes that periodically shoot out damaging steam.
  • Tank Goodness: Missile-shooting Skullker tanks are recurring minibosses.
  • Take Up My Sword: When the main character's father is put out of commission, his daughter pilots his mecha to fight the evil organization.
  • Tennis Boss: The upgraded Policebot in Area 4-1. Combat revolves around catching the explosive projectile with your drill and sending it back — but this is complicated by having to identify whether to catch it clockwise or counterclockwise (otherwise it explodes and damages you), and the ten-second countdown attached to it as you deflect the projectile back and forth between player and boss.
  • Thanking the Viewer: The ghost of Jill's mom waves goodbye to the player at the end.
  • That's No Moon: The Clink Prison guard tower looks an awful lot like a Humongous Mecha...
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Just about any time Jill finds the 3rd Gear in an area.
  • This Is a Drill: Right up there with Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann in terms of using drills and drilling for every problem.
  • Timed Mission:
    • The fifth boss requires you to beat it on a timer. Failing it means restarting the process of breaking its cores all over again.
    • Area 6-1 features a time-limited scenario, where you have to stop the gigantic Drill Missile from destroying your home base (where Doug, Jill's dad, is recovering).
  • Trash the Set: After using it to launch Jill onto the giant Skullker platformer, the Red Dozer truck that had been used for so many missions was crushed by the gigantic steamroller.
  • Tube Travel: The many threaded tunnels that require drilling one way or the other to enter and navigate. Defeating the boss of Area 5 involved being able to navigate tunnels using the correct Gear Shift within a time limit to destroy the boss's weak points.
  • Turns Red: Most of the Humongous Mecha bosses get more aggressive after part of them is destroyed.
    • Also, the robot dog enemies turn white after you do some damage to them.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Jill's Drill Dozer gets modified twice during the game and both times considerably changes how she has to pilot it.
    • Clink Prison where the Drill Dozer starts on its own after Jill is captured by the police, albeit with limited abilities, and you have to go through several parts using stealth instead of brute drilling everything.
    • The Drill Dozer breaks just before the final battle, and you're required to punch out the final boss with a mechanic that was added for just that battle.
  • Unlockable Difficulty Levels: Hard Mode must be unlocked by obtaining the Proof of Mastery and pressing L + R + Start on a new save file.
  • The Unreveal: At the end, when Jill punches Croog in the face, his mask falls off in a broken heap. Croog’s head is revealed to have a mop of shiny blonde hair, but we never see his face, as he looks away from the camera and he covers his face as he cries and runs away.
  • Video Game Dashing: Jumping while crouched causes the Drill Dozer to quickly move forward. You can use it to cross small gaps without hitting dangers on the ceiling.
  • Villain Protagonist: Technically speaking our main cast is a group of thieves, but they're Anti Villains bordering on Anti Heroes due to only stealing from the greedily rich and otherwise being treasure-hunters, especially compared to villainous thieves like Croog.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: Your drill can do everything from work combination locks, to act as a screwdriver, to deflect bullets, to reverse the direction of a giant drilling missile.