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The ups & downs of the spy game!

"You are a legendary super spy.
Your mission: steal the documents and escape."
—Tagline from Elevator Action Deluxe
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Elevator Action is a series of Run-and-Gun Platformer Action Games produced by Taito. Players take the role of spies and special agents and are tasked with seizing secret documents while evading or fighting against numerous enemies as they make their escape.

Most of the games follow the formula of the first game: Players would make their way down a building using the many elevators and escalators scattered throughout the level, while avoiding enemies and various environmental hazards. Red doors contain secret documents, all of which need to be collected before they can escape. Later games would introduce new characters, weapons and items, enemies and hazards, and different stage layouts.

The series includes the following games:

  • Elevator Action (1983) - Originally released in arcades, players take the role of Agent 17, codename "Otto", to navigate through a 30-story building to obtain secret documents while avoiding other spies and agents. It was ported to numerous consoles, including the NES (which was later released on the Wii's Virtual Console). The 1991 Game Boy port is unique in that is introduces new enemies, stages and obstacles, as well as the ability to acquire different weapons such as grenades and a machinegun, which would be utilized in the sequel.
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  • Elevator Action Returns (1994) - Known as Elevator Action II in North America. Released in arcades, the sequel is much more action-oriented with a wide variety of weapons to use and enemies to fight. Two players can take the role of three D.E.F. agents, Kart Bradfield, Edie Burret and Jad the Taff, who are sent to investigate and stop the terrorist plans of the self-proclaimed revolutionary "Red Suit". The game was ported to the Sega Saturn, which includes the original game, and was included in the compilation Taito Legends 2 for the Playstation 2, Xboxnote  and Windows.
  • Elevator Action EX (2000) - Developed by Altron Corporation and released for the Game Boy Color in Japan and Europe, the game is an Updated Re-release of the Game Boy port of the original game but with color, a plot and three playable characters; Mike, Sarah and Guy. In North America, the game was released as a Dolled-Up Installment in the form of Dexter's Laboratory: Robot Rampage, based on the popular Cartoon Network series.
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  • Elevator Action Old & New (2002) - A Japanese only release for the Game Boy Advance, published by MediaKite. While "Old" is the NES port of the original game, "New" features a new single-player campaign with new characters, weapons and graphics, as well as obstacles and enemies. Going back to a Lighter and Softer art style, "New" has players take the role of three characters, Robin, Berry, and Fan, seizing secret documents while avoiding agents, policemen, robots and even zombies. Two players can play together or against each other.
  • Elevator Action Death Parade (2009) - Perhaps the Oddball in the Series, Death Parade is an arcade Light Gun Game which takes many cues from Time Crisis, Virtua Cop 3, and The House of the Dead 4. The game is unique in that the game has a widescreen vertical display and uses elevator doors and buttons on the cabinet; the former needs to be closed in certain situations and to avoid certain attacks (not to mention a convenient way to hide loading screens), and the latter is used to choose the difficulty of later stages and operate some machinery in-game. As CID agents Zack and Irina, players shoot their way past soldiers and mutated beasts to stop a military coup that threatens the world with bio-engineered weapons. As a series staple, objects can be shot to collect secret documents.
  • Elevator Action Deluxe (2011) - Published by Square Enix, Deluxe is a remake of the first game released on the Playstation Network for the Playstation 3, featuring 3D graphics but with 2D gameplay. Players take the role of two agents as they uncover secrets to stop a doomsday device. With a stronger emphasis on puzzle and strategic elements, the game introduces several new enemies, weapons, traps, and unique challenges for over 50 levels. The game also features 4-player local multiplayer in both versus and co-op for the main campaign, as well as downloadable content in the form of extra stages and new characters, including those from other Taito series.

Not to be confused with the trope Elevator Action Sequence, which this series oddly averts as the action takes place outside of the elevator.


Good luck, troper!:

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     General 
  • Action Game: It's part of the title. You shoot bad guys and jump across platforms. More so in Returns and Death Parade. See Actionized Sequel for those.
  • Action Girl: Edie Burret, Sarah and Berry.
  • Actionized Sequel: Two sequels focus more on the Action than the Elevator.
    • Returns introduces a wide variety of new weapons and ways to take out your enemies, but they're also armed with jetpacks, flamethrowers, spiderbots, and flying armored vehicles. There are still plenty of elevators to use and navigate through, but the game has more focus on Run-and-Gun elements, and you'll be more focused on taking out your enemies than evading them.
    • Death Parade changes the genre into a fast-paced light gun shooter filled with explosions, rapid gunfire and a shaky camera.
  • Alertness Blink: Enemies in New and Deluxe will have an explanation point pop up above their heads when they spot you.
  • Anvil on Head: In some games, the ceiling lights can be shot and used to knock out enemies standing under them.
  • Art Shift: Most of the games have a cartoonish look, but Returns features the characters drawn in anime style while going for a realistic look during gameplay. EX has a comic-book art style for the character art, and Death Parade takes the series to 3D with a semi-realistic look.
  • Blackout Basement: Lights can be shot and fall on enemies, which will also darken the floor or even the whole area, which can sometimes be used to sneak past enemies unseen for a brief time. Other areas are completely unlit, preventing you from seeing enemy doors and making enemies more difficult to see. Averted in Returns, which slightly darkens the area for a brief moment, but enemies killed in darkened areas get you a score bonus.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The doors. Anything not covered below mostly serve as enemy spawning points.
    • Red doors contain secret documents and codes, and all must be entered before clearing the stage.
    • Blue doors serve as enemy spawning points in the first game, but offer weapons, points and items in later games.
    • Elevators are sometimes lit in different colors depending on the game; light blue, pink or yellow. Other times they have no particular color assigned to them.
    • Due to color limitations, the Game Boy version labels certain doors with a question mark, which offers health and weapons, and an explanation point, which contain the documents you need to complete the stage. This carries over to EX, which have both doors colored red.
  • Cool Car: Your getaway car serves as this in various games.
  • Dark Is Evil: Many enemies throughout the series wear black suits, black hats and Sinister Shades.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: One of the items in New and Deluxe is an enemy disguise that allows you to slip past enemies for a brief period of time.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: Despite the trope name, oddly averted, as all of the action takes place outside the actual elevators. They're more used for navigation and protection against enemies. Or crushing enemies with them or knocking them down empty shafts.
  • Embedded Precursor: The original game is featured on the Saturn port of Returns, Old & New (as "Old", which is based on the NES port), and Deluxe.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Elevator Action is an action game with elevators.
  • Exploding Barrels: In Returns, barrels can be shot and will roll across the screen, killing any enemy it touches. Shooting it more will blow it up. In Death Parade, they're used to take out a boss.
  • Falling Damage: Your character will die if they fall to a lower level. EX allows players to fall one story without taking damage.
  • Lighter and Softer: New goes back to a cartoonish family-friendly art style following Returns and EX, with young looking protagonists. Deluxe also returns to a cartoonish style following Death Parade.
  • One-Hit KO: Being crushed by an elevator and running out of time will cause you to lose a life. In some games, falling to the lower level will be an instant death, and getting hit by an explosive in Deluxe will take you out regardless of your health.
  • Puzzle Platformer: Depends on the game, but some of the stage layouts will require you to use your noggin to access areas safely. This is mostly evident in Deluxe.
  • Run-and-Gun: There's definitely platforming elements and you'll be shooting quite often.
  • Secret Character:
    • D.D. Fox, the Final Boss of EX, is playable through a password that's given after beating the game.
    • A fourth character in New is unlocked after completing the New campaign with all three characters.
  • The Smurfette Principle:
    • Edie Burret is the only woman who appears in Returns.
    • Sarah is the only female playable character in EX.
    • Berry is the only girl who appears in New.
  • Squashed Flat: Players and enemies alike can be crushed by the elevators if they're above or below them.
  • Timed Mission:
    • Returns has an invisible timer, which only appears when you have a short time left, and you will lose a life if it runs out. The last segment of the game gives you three minutes to reach the end of the stage and defeat Red Suit before he launches a nuclear weapon.
    • Stages in New and Deluxe are timed.
  • Video Game Long-Runners: Although there's usually a long gap between titles, it's been around since The '80s.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair:
    • Berry in New has pink hair.
    • The female agent in Deluxe also has pink hair.

     Elevator Action 
  • Endless Game: After beating the final stage, you're taken back straight to the beginning to do it all over again until you lose.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Otto and the enemies can only take one hit. Thankfully, later games add health bars and hit points.

     Elevator Action Returns 
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The entirety of the fourth stage takes place in an underground sewer and subway.
  • All There in the Manual: The soundtrack album for Returns features a narration that gives a slight background to the terrorists and the main characters. It also gives the name of the game's Big Bad: Red Suit.
  • Ambiguous Ending: At the end, if you defeat Red Suit and destroy the door controls in time, the nuke still launches and everything goes white. Cue the credits playing over Red Suit's blimp in flames, followed by the Name Entry screen congratulating you for your good work. One could wonder if the heroes escaped or perished with the bomb.
  • Ax-Crazy: Red Suit certainly has this vibe. Aside from him boasting about his revolution and his Evil Laugh, he cheers you on in the final battle while taking bullets from you.
  • Badasses Wear Bandanas: Kart sports a headband.
  • Big Bad: Red Suit, who doubles as the game's Final Boss.
  • The Big Guy: Jad the Taff is the game's Mighty Glacier, and can even kill enemies by running into them.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Returns has enemies that go up in flames if they touch fire or are struck with explosive weapons, spill blood when shot, and leave behind a large pool of blood if they're Squashed Flat by the elevators. This only applies to humans, as attack dogs simply whimper and fade out when hit.
  • Bomb Disposal: You're only looking for secret documents in the first stage behind the red doors. In the other stages, you're defusing bombs placed behind the red doors. Fortunately, all you have to do is enter the door and the agents will take care of the rest. Although the offshore drilling rig ends up blowing up anyway...
  • Callback: The first stage is the only one designed like a stage from the original game, taking place in a completely vertical building, and ends with the characters escaping in a vehicle once they reach the basement. There are no escalators through.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Blue for Kart, Pink for Edie (with some green), Green for Jad, and Red for Red Suit.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Red Suit. When you face him, he seems more thrilled at being shot at than achieving his goals.
    Red Suit (upon being shot): Yes! Yes! That's the way!
  • Coming in Hot: The second stage opens with the players crashing a helicopter into an airport occupied by terrorists. They come out of it dizzy and even take out a few of the bad guys.
  • Competitive Balance:
    • Fragile Speedster: Kart and Edie both fall under this for different reasons. Kart has average gun speed and health, but is physically the fastest. Edie can shoot the fastest and her physical speed is above average, but can't take many hits.
    • Mighty Glacier: Jad has the best health but is also the slowest, but his gun is faster than Kart's.
  • The Cutie: Edie Burret. In the Saturn port, she even has a pose where she puts her hands behind her back and twiddles her feet around.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: In the opening for the fourth stage, the agents jump from a helicopter into a subway deep underground. At the end of the fifth stage, the characters fall into an escape boat. Both falls would easily kill them in gameplay.
  • Darker and Edgier: Aside from the details in Bloodier and Gorier above, Red Suit is trying to ignite a revolution with a nuclear missile, and if you run out of time at the end, he successfully launches it and the mushroom cloud it creates isn't pretty.
  • Disney Villain Death: Red Suit meets his end by falling down the platform he was on.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Who else than our villain Red Suit?
  • Evil Laugh: Red Suit does this every time he appears.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Returns has every character speak in Surprisingly Good English, although Edie speaks Japanese in one of her idle animations for some reason.
    Edie Burret: Bakamitai... translation 
  • Kill It with Fire: Enemies can be set ablaze with bombs or rocket launchers, and certain mooks even have flamethrowers.
  • Market-Based Title: Known as Elevator Action II in North America.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Allowing time to run out in the final stage will end the game.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The game's Big Bad is simply known as Red Suit.
  • Palette Swap: Various enemies are re-colors of others. Red Suit is a red version of the other agent enemies, and has their moves.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Red Suit's objective is to cause a revolution to build a new world, and attempts to achieve this by organizing a terrorist movement and obtain a nuclear weapon.
    Red Suit: Crush the old order and create a new society!
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: Certain enemies are armed with a shield, but you can knock it out of their hands with one shot. Just don't forget to shoot them again.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the graffiti writings in the first stage reads "UFO or DIE", a side project from Yamatsuka Eye and Yoshimmy P-We of Boredoms.
    • One of the planes in the 2nd stage has the word "Darius" written above the door.
    • The briefing before the final stage includes the line "...may the power be with you."
  • Surprisingly Good English: The game is spoken almost entirely in English by what sounds like native speakers. The writing and the grammar on the other hand, including the names of the protagonists, need a little work.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Some enemies wear open shirts that expose their chest, and another type of enemy doesn't wear a shirt at all.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Red Suit does this periodically in the early stages, and only averts this in the final showdown with him.

     Elevator Action EX 
  • Bald of Awesome: Guy, one of the playable characters, as well as your boss.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Red for Mike, Green for Guy, Red/Pink for Sarah.
  • Cool Shades: Guy sports some shades.
  • Damsel in Distress: Later in the game, a woman helping you is captured and kidnapped, requiring the heroes to save her in the next stage.
  • Final Boss: D.D.Fox, The Dragon. A password is given after beating the game which allows him to be playable.
  • In the Back: At the end of the game, the Big Bad attempts to shoot the player when their back is turned. It doesn't work.
  • Updated Re-release: The game is an updated version of the Game Boy port of the original and expands heavily upon it, including a plot, new characters, and color. Mike's character sprite and some graphics remain unchanged.

     Elevator Action Old & New 
  • Callback: The first area of the game is a vertical building similar to the original game, and the various songs in the game are remixed versions of the original game's main theme.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Red for Robin, Pink for Berry, and blue for Fan.
  • Competitive Balance:
    • Fragile Speedster: Berry has the best speed and jump but weakest power. The unlockable fourth character also falls under this, who is the fastest but starts with a single hit point at the beginning of each round.
    • Jack-of-All-Stats: Robin is average in speed, jump and power.
    • Mighty Glacier: Fan has the best power but weakest speed and jump.
  • Delinquent Hair: Robin sports a massive pompadour.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Fan's eyes are always shut.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Berry sports twintails.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: Zombies can be found in the stages and take a few hits to take out. They'll get up momentarily, though.
  • No Ending: Complete all the missions and you're treated to the credits. Good job!

    Elevator Action Death Parade 
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Many bosses and special enemies have their weak spots pointed out before their fights begin.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The game's final boss, the PS-001EUS.
  • Bald of Evil: Sylvian Duras, who also sports a Beard of Evil, too.
  • Big Bad: Colonel Sylvian Duras, although it turns out he's the Big Bad Wannabe and gets outdone by the Greater-Scope Villain.
  • Bullet Time: Certain segments slow the action down so certain enemies and projectiles can be shot before damaging the players.
  • Camera Screw: Death Parade features a lot of shaky cam, and being a first-person game, the heroes get knocked down constantly.
  • Chronic Back Stabbing Disorder: The black agents shoot and betray Duras toward the end of the game, on Valdez's orders. He unleashes the final boss before he dies.
  • The Faceless: Only the lower half of General Valdez's face is seen in The Stinger.
  • Fighting Your Friend: One of the bosses is your pal Chester, who has been mutated by the P01 Cells. Another is Kurtz, who has also been mutated.
  • Flunky Boss: Duras has backup arrive when he's fought against.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Duras has a large scar over his head.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: General Valdez, who is also the Man Behind the Man.
  • It's Personal: After having to terminate their mutated friends, Irina asks the president for permission to avenge their comrades.
  • Large Ham: Most of the cast, but particularly Duras and President James.
    President James: This is your final mission! Stop them at all cost [sic]! This is an executive order!!!
  • Light Gun Game: The only one for the series so far.
  • The Men in Black: Men wearing black suits are a recurring enemy, and seem to have a agenda of their own.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: Duras uses two guns with giant machetes attached to them. He'll use the blades to shield himself from your bullets and as a melee attack.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Duras tries one before his boss battle.
    Sylvian Duras: How about a game of cat and mouse? I'll be the cat!
  • Press X to Not Die: Button prompts will often appear that require the player to use the elevator controls on the arcade cabinet to avoid taking damage. Sometimes this means operating machinery or closing the elevator doors to use as a shield.
  • The Stinger: A black suit appears before General Valdez, revealing the lab was destroyed and they successfully acquired all the battle data for him.
  • Taking You with Me: After being injected with P01 cells, Chester throws himself over the rails and takes the mook who did the dirty deed with him.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Duras is betrayed and killed before the Final Boss.
  • Winged Humanoid: One of the bosses, Kurtz, becomes this after mutation.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Valdez has Duras killed for this reason.

     Elevator Action Deluxe 
  • 2½D: The game features 3D graphics but the gameplay is entirely in 2D.
  • The Door Slams You: A new mechanic allows players to attack enemies by opening the door from inside when they're in front of it.
  • Downloadable Content: Deluxe has this in the form of new characters and stages, with the former being free.
  • Guest Fighter: Reika Kirishima from Time Gal, the Vaus from Arkanoid, and Sayo from Kiki Kai Kai appear as free playable DLC characters. Playing as the Vaus removes all music and replaces the sound effects with those from Arkanoid, and playing as Sayo replaces the sound effects and music with those from Kiki Kai Kai.
  • Implacable Man: One of the enemies is a gorilla-sized man who can't be shot down, is faster than you and will chase you down. Although he can be crushed, he'll always come back, leaving you no choice but to evade him and using your wits to keep him at bay.
  • Pacifist Run: Obtaining the gold medal for certain stages requires the player to complete it without hurting any enemies.
  • Retraux: Many sound effects are taken from the original game. One of the downloadable characters for Deluxe is the original Otto, who has a pixelated 3D look, and comes with old sound effects and music.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: The gold medals for some stages require the player to get through it without being detected by enemies.
  • Video Game Remake: Deluxe is a remake of the original game and introduces several new mechanics.


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