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Evil Genius 2: World Domination is a sequel to the 2004 cult hit Evil Genius, developed and published by Rebellion, who acquired the rights to the IP when the original studio Elixir closed in 2005.

Evil Genius 2 is a satirical "spy-fi" lair builder where you take the role of one of four villains working to take over the world. The game has separate campaigns for each villain and the style of the campaign favors each one's traits of offensive power, subtle social trickery, scientific domination, or a mixture of all three. The game promises to provide greater variety in playthroughs over the original title with both the unique flavors of the new Geniuses as well as offering the player one of three different islands to choose to build up in the campaign and more options in how to reach their ultimate goal of building their own Doomsday Device and bringing the entire world to its knees. The game also retains the same comical tone of the original title as well.

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Released on March 30, 2021, Evil Genius 2 was first announced in 2013. Unlike the previous Facebook game revivals, Evil Genius Online and Evil Genius WMD, Evil Genius 2 is a fully-featured PC sequel to the original base-building title. Updates on the game's development were regularly posted to its development blog on the official website, as well as smaller snippets on the game's social media channels. The game was later announced to be ported to consoles sometime in the winter of 2021.


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This game provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The '60s: The Theme Park Version, with a dash of "spy-fi" and satirical humor on top. Hair? Beehive! Walls? Brown and orange! Lava lamps? But of course! That said, there's hints that it's a Retro Universe, and the mentioned existence of Dungeons & Dragons, "Weird Al" Yankovic, and disco being recently dead pegs it as taking place in The '80s—the world having been ruled by an evil Overlord for a time may have caused this. There's also all the mentions of social media and references to events that happened in The New '10s, though.
  • Abnormal Ammo: One scheme involves your minions stealing a gun that fires birds (called the "chicken gun").
  • Acceptable Targets: The art world is a pretty consistent target of the game's teasing.
  • Achievement Mockery: There's an achievement for letting Symmetry, the A.N.V.I.L. Super Agent, successfully steal from your base, as well as one for letting your Evil Genius die for the first time.
  • Action Girl:
    • Both your and the Forces of Justice's generic action minions consist of both men and women who heavily armed and ready to fight to the death for their chosen side. After all, Evil is an equal-opportunity employer.
    • There are also female Henchmen such as Full Metal Jackie, an arms dealer toting a grenade launcher.
  • Advanced Tech 2000: Instead of using dynamite and pick axes as in the first game, minions now build you lair using a device called the Lair Builder 5000. According to teaser videos, it is literally the five-thousandth iteration of the design, and the first 4,999 were hilariously problematic. The flow of room building hasn't changed, as minions must still move money and objects back and forth from the depot but the Lair Builder was deemed a more fun and "spy fi" method of showing base building.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: The 'chicken gun' your minions steal is a real thing.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: A great number of the more frustrating elements of the first game have been addressed:
    • Front and center, the Genius avatar moves quickly now, and can fight back if attacked by enemies. Their attack even gets powered up after the superweapon's been upgraded. It's still not smart to have them take on a Super Agent and their whole entourage alone, but at least the Genius won't stand around placidly getting shot over and over anymore, or killed as they slowly walk away from attacking Agents.
    • The grid-based world now has significantly finer resolution, allowing for more compact and efficient bases, whilst the added third dimension adds a significant amount of extra building space.
    • Military minions will now automatically arm themselves if the player has available weapons, no matter what alarm level the base is in. After a later update, military minions will automatically upgrade to superior weapons if available. In exchange, Workers no longer arm themselves.
    • It is easier to manage guards. Guard posts can be set in corridors which are manned during red alerts. Advanced guard posts are manned at all times. Armories can have a conference table where groups of guards will gather and wait for alerts from the cameras to respond to, meaning you can always have guards responding to alerts without scrambling the entire base, and you can choose where to concentrate your forces.
    • Default tags can be assigned to rooms and corridors after the appropriate research, so any agent found entering the designated areas is automatically tagged to be killed, captured, or turned away according to the player's preferences without requiring every individual agent to be spotted and tagged.
    • Training no longer requires a minion of the type you're trying to make, having one just makes training faster. This means if your last minion of a type dies, you can still make more - no need to go kidnap another maid if you run out of valets. It also means that your existing minions aren't tied up training new recruits, which is important if you need those technicians out there keeping your base from burning down right now. Groups of minions can occasionally be hired on the world map too, allowing for quicker replenishment of the ranks if the player can afford their hiring fee.
      • Likewise there isn't a straight skill tree for all classes anymore. For instance, workers train up straight into being scientists, and technicians are their own niche category, instead of being technicians first and then promoting to scientist. So your maintenance staff doesn't swell or shrink depending on how many higher-tier science minions you have to train up.
    • Bodies are burned in incinerators very quickly. No more freezer rooms full of body bags that take a ton of space and generate endless heat.
    • Tourists now stay in the cover operation instead of wandering all over the island and inevitably getting inside your base. Additionally, the cover operation is much cheaper than the Hotels of the first game; this makes it worth building up for both distracting agents and for generating passive income from the endless stream of tourists, especially after a couple of patches have boosted the effectiveness of the Operation.
    • Valets are no longer the only minion who can use a fire extinguisher. All minions can use them now, and they will intelligently use them... as opposed to the first game, where a valet with an extinguisher suffered from Artificial Stupidity and would decide to run to random fires with no rhyme or reason (i.e. extinguish a fire in the burning Control Room, then run clear across the base to put out a fire, then run back, etc.).
    • Moving money around has been streamlined considerably. Money immediately goes into a Vault after being earned from the World Map or fulfilling Objectives, and no minion needs to carry a briefcase from the Depot and store it in a Vault (and possibly get killed and the money stolen). Purchasing items or creating/expanding rooms no longer requires the minions to run to a Vault, collect money, run to a Depot to deposit it, then possibly running back to get more. They still have to carry the items and install them, but occasionally an item will just be installed automatically without a minion's help; for example, this is just so the player doesn't have to wait for all fifty bunk beds to be carried to a new room.
    • Super Agents will teleport out of your lair in a puff of smoke when defeated now, instead of springing back to life after a certain amount of time's passed and having to be dealt with all over again until they finally decide to leave on their own. They'll even be gone from the world map until they get their strength back, giving you a short window to launch Schemes in their territory unopposed.
    • As opposed to Heat being decreased by Social Minions, it can now be decreased directly via Schemes, the most basic of which require a lump-sum of cash, some Intel, or a trio of Workers. Additionally, whilst criminal networks passively generate Heat over time, any Schemes which don't generate any heat will completely freeze heat generation for their duration.
    • The Plotting aspect of the World Map has been completely removed, meaning you no longer need to send minions to a region and leave them there just to find things to do. Although it's been replaced with a system where you need to buy broadcast equipment in the lair and establish a base in each area before you can launch schemes there.
    • One the developers made a point of mentioning is there's no move to another island for little explicable reason halfway through the game, forcing you to abandon all the time and effort you put into building your base to make you start completely over in a new setup.
    • The Video-Game Lives system for henchmen is gone. When defeated in combat they'll drop to one knee for a short time, and then recover a little. Once out of combat they'll automatically head to the conference table in your sanctum where they can heal after losing all their stats, instead.
    • The Genius doesn't automatically come and watch when a Super Agent's being tortured anymore (not that there's much reason to do it in this sequel), meaning that if something goes wrong and the agent escapes and attacks, you aren't looking at a likely instant Game Over with your vulnerable avatar right there.
    • People on the Island that have a specific plot-relevant purpose will have a thought bubble constantly over their head to show they're important. If they need to be captured, they cannot have a Kill tag placed on them so the player doesn't accidentally order their deaths. Most of them also simply cannot be killed until it is necessary for them to do so, and they'll do the same kneeling animation as Henchmen. Quite handy in fact, since some of them even perform useful functions whilst they're around.
    • The research system is organized into a tree-like setup where you start with basic discoveries and unlock more advanced ones when smarter minions become available and progress deeper into the game. As opposed to scientists wandering around the base taking interest in things they noticed to research at random. A later update made it so that progress in a research technology can be saved and the player can freely swap between research as necessary, in case of campaign/Side Story-mandated research needed to progress. Another also made the tech tier unlocks tied to the minion types themselves rather than story progress, significantly speeding up progress.
    • Your conference table actually has a point outside of one plot event: it's where henchmen (and the Genius) go to heal themselves. You can have them go recover anytime and guarantee they'll be at 100% the next time you get attacked, since they'll stay sitting there until ordered to move. As opposed to the first game, where they'd only do their healing ritual on their own when their stats got low, which often meant sending them after agents at only partial health.
    • Maybe the most drastic and generous change from the original is there being more readily-available ways to restore minion morale than the AOE of the Genius themselves and stolen loot items. All minions can restore morale from either using stations in the Staff Room or sleeping in their beds, meaning you have multiple methods of restoring minion morale from the get-go.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can have up to five Crime Bosses defeated and turned to Henchmen under your control. Other Crime Bosses beyond that count must be executed or kept as prisoners indefinitely, or you must execute one of your existing henchmen. You can also only have 300 minions maximum, no matter how many lockers you build.
  • Arbitrary Mission Restriction: Missions involve multiple steps in this game, and sometimes at the game's launch the steps required you to do things that are totally irrespective of the state of your evil empire. For instance a mission might call for a military assault and require you to train ten mercenary minions. You could have fifty gun-toting mercenaries patrolling your base before that mission starts, and the game won't budge until you train ten more. Particularly jarring when other arbitrary restrictions can be completely immediately (such as "have X loot items" or "have X amount of cash in your vault(s)"). This was averted in the 1.30 Patch, where the game now takes your current minion numbers into account and won't make you train new minions (if the mission wants you to build more furniture, you'll still need to do that).
  • Awesome, but Impractical: You get access to your Superweapon about halfway through the campaign and can use it as often as you can refuel it. It falls into this category, though, because the Schemes needed to refuel it will cost you more than equivalent regular Schemes that accomplish the same thing would. Additionally, each superweapon has a downside when fired that can't be avoided.note  The 1.30 patch lowered the costs for the refueling schemes along with increasing passive income and the reward missions from firing it, but the backfire remains the same.
  • Badass Boast: All over the place, but the Genius gives an especially good one to Ms. Foxworth. "Your world ended the day John Steele died. What do you think will happen to your world when thirty of him do?"
  • Badass in a Nice Suit:
    • As shown in the game's key art displayed at the top of this page, Maximillian returns with his tasteful blue suit.
    • Eli Barricuda Jr has inherited his dad's cream suit along with the rest of his style.
    • Incendio is sporting a flamboyant red and gold number complete with frilly sleeves, bow tie, and cravat.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Naturally, just like in the first game. This time, after launching your Doomsday Device at the five F.O.J.s of the world, a final cutscenes has the villains on a stage. It then ends with a shot of them with the world in their hands.
    • Max is giving a speech to a bunch of gold statues before noticing an Investigator who wasn't turned to gold. He takes care of them immediately by shooting them, his statue causing the other ones to fall down as well. His version of Earth is a golden sphere.
    • Red Ivan is giving a speech to his soldiers before ordering them to go out, before launching his rocket fist at the screen. His version of Earth is on fire and with metal braces on it.
    • Emma is surrounded by her spider bots, clouds of V.E.N.O.M. gas, and dead skeletal corpses as she celebrates her victory, before noticing the player and getting a bot to fly at their face and kill them. Her version of Earth is a ball of V.E.N.O.M.
    • Zalika appears before the brainwashed populace before ordering them to attack you. Her version of Earth is a digital hologram.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: At least two of the Forces of Justice are corrupt, according to their own Super Agents' backstories - Agent X repeatedly brought heat down on P.A.T.R.I.O.T. higher-ups before being sent off to investigate potential Evil Geniuses, and Wrecking Bola only joined up with S.A.B.R.E. in the first place in the hopes of fixing them from the inside out. They're still the good guys by comparison.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Databanks. By far the most common piece of research equipment that gets used at every stage of the game, especially in side stories. Also one of the first pieces you get.
    • Freeze traps. One of the first to unlock and one of the least exciting, they nonetheless do an excellent job sapping Resolve and holding enemies in place for your minions to respond, and are a good first trap to set up a chain reaction if you use something else to move the frozen enemies.
    • For a given definition of "boring", certainly, but it's a belief held by a lot of players that the best henchmen are the ones built around just dealing damage (Jubei, Sir Daniel, Eli Barracuda, Full Metal Jackie), and not the ones who rely on fancy skills requiring careful implementation; you can just point the former at enemies and go do something else knowing the henchmen will fix the problem, whereas the latter demand the player carefully choose a target and a time (and they might not fix the problem regardless).
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: You can brainwash enemy agents and turn them into your minions. What kind they turn into is dependent on their type.
  • Brick Joke: When the Biologist is first recruited, the Genius mentions getting a headache every time they see them. When upgrading to the Quantum Chemist much later in the campaign, the same biologist approaches the Genius, who immediately complains about the headache.
  • Boss Rush: What the countdown at the end of the game can basically become, if you haven't been taking the time to clear out the Crime Bosses and Super Agents up until then. All the ones who are still around will participate in the siege of your lair.
  • The Casino: The hotel and casino make a return as a means to distract tourists and the Forces of Justice from investigating your base too closely. They are now built underground as part of your regular base, as opposed to on the surface of the island.
  • Charm Person: Eli Barracuda Jr. has his Silver Tongue ability, which weakens the Resolve of the agents he targets with it. His Henchman blog notes that he rose up in the crime world with his dangerous smile and smooth negotiation skills.
  • Chekhov's Skill: One of the traits your Minions may randomly have is knowing how to do simple magic tricks. The Genius later capitalizes on this to distract S.M.A.S.H. while the Genius steals a giant emerald.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Military Minions are red and orange, Deception minions are purple, and Science minions are green. This color coding extends to the Evil Geniuses, who are all color coded in promo art (and in their costumes for Red Ivan and Zalika). Maximilian is yellow because he generates more gold and attracts more basic workers (who wear yellow). The color coding also extends to each one's superweapon.
    • Likewise agents of the Forces of Justice wear outfits in their agency's representative color. PATRIOT's wear blue, HAMMER's wear red, ANVIL's wear orange, and so on.
  • Comically Small Bribe: Max tries to buy a country early in his campaign. The mission only costs $20,000. He tries to buy a country for less than the cost of some of your lair's lab equipment.
  • Continuity Nod: The returning characters from the first game-Max, Red Ivan and Jubei-still use a lot of their original catchphrases, with a few getting updated such as because Jubei changed his Weapon of Choice in the time since the original outing. The exception is Eli Barracuda Jr., who keeps his father's recognizable suit and trademark silver-plated revolver, but eschews Eli Sr.'s plethora of disco-soaked sayings.
  • Crossover:
    • The Pyro can be recruited as a henchman if you download their free DLC pack. In a nice touch, you can recruit either their RED or BLU variants.
    • Another free DLC pack adds items from Portal, including setting up Turrets and making rooms with Propulsion Gel.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: According to various elements in the game, Maximilian did not win the first game, whoever did win used the ID Eliminator Doomsday Device note , and Red Ivan was among the Henchmen who aided this genius. This genius also launched John Steele into space, which resulted in his ally Penny Foxworth forming a program to make average agents as good as Steele. The fate of the other four Super Agents from the first game remains unknown.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the game mostly retains the humor of the first game, there is one area that is considerably darker than anything back then: The fates of the Super Agents. Unlike in the first game, where the Super Agents were mostly dealt with nonviolently (though there were some exceptions), all of the Super Agent storylines end with their death, and they are surprisingly brutal. Special mention goes to Symmetry, who spends her final moments desperately begging for her life before being left to drown, and Agent X, who is left so mentally and emotionally broken by the end that he practically begs the Evil Genius to just kill him and Get It Over With.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Robots explode at zero health. This includes the ones working for you, if you're playing with that DLC.
  • Defeat Means Playable: The recruitment system for Henchman has been overhauled dramatically from the previous title. After recruiting the your first Henchmen, the rest will then begin as independent "Crime Lords" and the player will have to battle their criminal empires, culminating in them personally invading the player's base, and they need to be defeated before the Henchman are recruited to your side. Each Henchman has their own storyline that requires diverting resources from the main campaign in order to either recruit or dispose of them (due to the aforementioned Arbitrary Headcount Limit).
  • Did Not Think This Through: The first mission in Maximilian's storyline has him attempt to buy a country. Beyond using a Comically Small Bribe to do so ($20000, less than even the poorest nation in the world's total GDP), he never considers that people might just refuse to sell him their nation no matter the sum of money he offers. Predictably, he's turned down.
  • Disposing of a Body: In Evil Genius 1, bodies had to be stored in a walk-in freezer that needed to be expanded constantly. In this game, the Geniuses simply burn the bodies in incinerators once they're well and dead.
  • Doofy Dodo: Inverted - one of the loot items is a Smart Dodo Bird, and by smart, we mean that he is able to function as a teacher for science minions.
  • Doomsday Device: Just like in the last game, it's what your Evil Genius builds in order to Take Over the World. However, unlike last time, there's one for each Genius and ties into their vile personality.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Red Ivan has had a promotion from an optional Henchman to an Evil Genius in his own right. As a nod to how extremely destructive he was as a Henchman of the original game, Red Ivan is intended to favor an offensive playstyle (and still has his rocket launcher as a special ability).
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Some of the tutorial prompts come about from your otherwise hapless minions raising surprisingly valid points that the Genius doesn't catch. The Genius, for instance, needs to be reminded that helicopters repeatedly flying to and from an allegedly "abandoned" island is pretty suspicious to the world at large, which inspires them to train Valets and run a casino as a cover operation.
  • Durable Deathtrap: Some of the loot items you steal act like booby traps, and still work despite dating to antiquity. Some of them, like Cupid's Arrow and the Flames of Prometheus, are implied to have divine origins, though, which would explain it.
  • Enemy Mine: Seeing the threat that your Evil Genius poses to everyone as greater than their personal conflicts, the Forces of Justice, any undefeated Super Agents, and any undefeated Crime Lords will assault your base together in a desperate attempt to stop your master plan to conquer the world in the final mission of the game.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • The Genius refuses to kill Wrecking Bola's dogs, citing this.
    • Time travel, though powerful, is beneath the Genius and they refuse to use it due to it being a lazy way to become powerful.
    • Once the Genius verifies that Pandora's Box has been discovered, they immediately seek it out and steal it to personally ensure it is never used again.
  • Evil Is Petty: After getting fed up with Symmetry's raids and taunting, the Genius decides to get her attention by shooting her cat. With the Doomsday Device.
  • Evil Only Has to Win Once: Averted - Evil Genius 2 is a canonical sequel to the original 2004 game, and between those two games, the world has been taken back by the Forces of Justice after the last Evil Genius succeeded in taking over the world.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The Crime Lord side stories are this, with you dealing with rival criminals to stop them from undermining your operation, and potentially recruiting them to your side.
  • Egopolis: Promoted to Playable Henchman Red Ivan was rewarded with his own nation for his service to the previous game's Evil Genius, the Nation of Ivania. After he was defeated via a democratic election, the Forces of Justice somehow ousted him, and now he intends to Take Over the World so all will be Ivania. This also because Ivania refuses to take him back, when he tries to retake it later in the game. After fracking a massive A.M.M.O. deposit from underneath their feet, he fires H.A.V.O.C. at them and destroys the country out of spite.
  • Extendo Boxing Glove: One of the new traps is a wall-mounted boxing glove on a spring, capable of knocking targets flat against the opposing wall.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Unlike in the first game, where every minion of a given type had the same model (and all of them were men), minions of all types now come in varying races and genders.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The first set of missions won't get the Genius the results they want. This prompts them to build their superweapon and make the world listen.
    • For Maximillian, he tries to become President of the World, beginning with bribing various politicians $5000 each and trying to buy a country with a relatively small bribe of $20000. Nobody takes it and/or immediately elects him to rule the entire world, and Max decides to build M.I.D.A.S.
    • For Emma, she tries to expose a candidate's dirty secrets and smash her campaign for Prime Minister due to bad blood between her and the candidate, only for her to be elected anyways. Scientists who agree with Emma's disgust about the election result show up and help her build V.E.N.O.M.
    • For Ivan, Ivania, the country he spends the first half of the game preparing to take back rejects him on what is supposed to be his triumphant return, and he destroys it in a fit of pique with H.A.V.O.C.
    • For Zalika, the V.O.I.D. prototype brainwashes the Investors and causes minions to start worshiping it, forcing her to destroy it.
  • Fake Charity: The Genius sets one up to steal the World's Largest Piggy Bank. This causes missions to periodically appear on the World Map that involve robbing other fake charities.
  • Fountain of Youth: An extra mission to find and relocate the magical fountain to your lair was given away as a preorder bonus. It makes minions who drink from it healthier, but temporarily more naive and easier for agents to trick them.
  • Fun with Acronyms: We never find out what the acronyms for most of the spy organizations or superweapons stand for, but in Red Ivan's campaign the Forces of Justice form a coalition against him: Public Entities Against Crime & Evil. Or, P.E.A.C.E.
  • Furnace Body Disposal: The bodies of dead agents are disposed of in incinerators so that they don't lower the morale of the minions.
  • Glad I Thought of It: The Genius says this verbatim in the side story "Pharoah is Foul, Foul is Pharoah."
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Some Henchmen and Loot Items are locked behind each other and the game will never tell you this. In general, various pieces of Loot are only available during certain windows of the campaign, and some also require you to have a certain number of a specific Minion type during these points (e.g. having 15 Martial Artists after unlocking their recruitment opens up the Meditation Stone quest).
    • You can't recruit Carl Cafard unless you complete The P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Gains, a loot-item side-story. This stops becoming available after a certain point, and if you’ve passed it and haven’t completed it, you’ve locked yourself out of getting him for the rest of the playthrough. Also, Cafard and fellow Henchman Clara Jones have a rivalry with each other, and once the player picks one to capture or recruit, the other stops being available. This was averted in a later patch, as it's now possible to recruit both of them.
    • Full Metal Jackie is notoriously hard to recruit as a Henchman. She originally could only be recruited if four other henchmen had not been recruited yet, two of whom are top-tier fan favorites who are available as your first henchman (Jubei and Eli Barracuda) and the other two of which are also top-tier (Sir Daniel and Dr. Magnolia Ming) and available before Jackie. You couldn't touch any of these henchmens' stories until after you get Quantum Chemists, which was originally very late in the game, and complete the three side stories required to recruit Jackie without accidentally killing her. The 1.30 Patch relaxes these restrictions to hire her by letting you take Jubei and Eli without silently failing the questline, and a later patch made it so you can recruit all four without any issues (it just skips their part of Jackie's questline).
    • Some missions, such as Sir Daniel's recruitment mission, require you to defeat a Super Agent, with one of his final recruitment missions demanding that you defeat all five of them in a row. If any of the five Super Agents are gone for good, then the mission will be shut down forever.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard:
    • Red Ivan's Doomsday Device, H.A.V.O.C., was originally built by H.A.M.M.E.R. before being dismantled. After he steals it from them, they're just as likely to be targeted by their former weapon as any other Force of Justice.
    • Launching your Doomsday Device will cause side effects across your base depending on the type; M.I.D.A.S. turns Minions into gold, H.A.V.O.C. sets things on fire, V.O.I.D. brainwashes minions into becoming hostile, and V.E.N.O.M. causes minions to go berserk and attack.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Almost all the mission names have some kind of pun in them, unless they have a movie reference in them instead.
  • Informed Attribute: Some missions involve stealing priceless treasures, but for some reason these never show up in the lair (such as Abraham Lincoln's hat in Agent X's questline). Which seems weird mainly with how stealing priceless treasures and putting them on display is a big part of the game.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Besides the aspect of creating a streamlined evil lair to carry out your operations from the original game, there's a whole new tab of "Decor" items that just make things look cooler (some do improve stat regeneration near them, but it's mostly decorative items).
  • Irony: Maximilian, whose color is Yellow, has a line complaining how yellow everything is.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Much like the first game, it's a perfectly viable option to have your Evil Genius go up to someone in one of your holding cells and mock them for getting caught. While this sometimes gave a little bit of Notoriety in the first game, in this one, it takes off a sizable chunk of the victim's Resolve (in-exchange for a little bit of Smarts from your Genius, which can easily be recovered), making this practical for softening up an enemy for interrogation or brainwashing.
  • Last Stand: In the endgame, the Genius issuing an ultimatum to the world forces all Forces of Justice to respond to the imminent threat that their completed Doomsday Device poses, prompting this situation as they swarm the island to save the world. The player has to hold the line against all attackers, with the threat of defeat if the invaders get to the Evil Genius. How difficult this last stand becomes is entirely dependent on how many incomplete Side Stories there are. Every independent Crime Lord left alive will work together to invade the island, and every still active Super Agent will invade together in a separate wave.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The worker minion who acts as the tutorial is immediately noted by the Evil Genius, who angrily demands to know why some low level mook is giving them orders. His response is that as a minion, he's eager to help (and live).
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: The Genius's reaction after capturing, securing, and finding out about the true nature of the Flying Pig.note 
  • Mad Scientist:
    • Science minions are now more exaggerated along B-movie lines, with high-tech helmets and massive goggles.
    • Zalika, the science Evil Genius is clearly modeled after this trope with her lab coat, bubble-helmet, and goggles.
  • Magic Carpet: A loot item you can steal and use to decorate the lair. Unfortunately you can't ride it.
  • Masked Luchador: The Blue Saint, the S.M.A.S.H. Super Agent, is a particularly massive Luchador in a suit, complete with mask and champion belt.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Robot workers and robot guards become available in one of the DLC packs.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: Carl Carfard and Clara Jones hate each other, and recruiting one will lock you out of recruiting the other.
  • Nerf: Social minions are no longer capable of rendering your evil lair nigh-invulnerable like they were in the first game. Soldiers cannot be tagged for Distraction at all and Super Agents will nearly always see through attempts to Distract them and kill the offending minion.
  • Nice Hat: In-universe, the Genius thinks the Quantum Chemist's plasma globe hat looks cool.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Whiteboard, cornerstone of your R&D department, is, as the flavor text notes, not actually white, but calling it a "Greenboard" just confused people and sounded weird.
  • Noodle Incident: From hints and snippets such as Red Ivan and Emma's backstories, it's implied that the world had already been subjected to an Evil Genius Taking Over The World at least once. When that happened, and how said Evil Genius was eventually toppled and the world gone back to normal is left unrevealed - but your Evil Genius can get to do it again.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Much like the first game, it's truly a pity the game never leaves the lair sometimes because some of the missions sound epic. Like the one where your minions are sent on running battles with the Time Police.
  • Old Master: Jubei, returning from the first game, now sports this look, having replaced his katana with a staff.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The ability to turn dead agents into Abominations (zombie minions) was added with DLC just in time for Halloween 2021. Basically a slightly new take on Freaks from the original game.
  • Permanently Missable Content: All Side Stories and Henchmen are available at various points of the Campaign's main quest line. If you don't collect available loot, have the right minions to unlock them in the first place, or recruit/kill Henchmen before doing certain story missions, they will disappear from the Side Story menu and can no longer be earned in that playthrough.
  • Perplexing Plurals: In the "Everything We Can Tell You" trailer, narrator Ellen stumbles over introducing the title characters because she's not sure whether the plural of "genius" is "geniuses" or "genii".
  • Pet the Dog: Before killing Wrecking Bola the Genius assures them that they didn't hurt their pets.
  • Police State: Of a sort: presumably after liberating the world from the previous Evil Genius ruler, the world is now ruled directly by the Forces of Justice rather than national governments. They've also shifted territories; for instance H.A.M.M.E.R., the equivalent of SMERSH, now controls all of Northern Eurasia, while S.A.B.R.E., the MI6 equivalent, has lost most former British territory (and all of Europe) but gained all of Africa.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • The justification for Schemes costing Minions permanently is that the Evil Geniuses think that letting them take a cut of the profits and disappear is better than them returning to the base and potentially leading the authorities to them.
    • Also shows up in one of the loot quests. The Genius hears about a Kaiju and thinks about capturing it for their own use. After their scientists run the numbers they realize this would be way more trouble than it's worth, steal its egg instead so they don't leave empty-handed, and fire their superweapon at the monster to show it not to mess with them.
    • The theft of Pandora's Box comes down to this, with the Genius claiming it to keep something more evil than them from being released. Granted, part of their motive is so they're the most Evil person around, but the sentiment is still there.
  • Public Domain Artifact:
    • A teaser on the game's social One of the Uber-Loot pieces from the first game makes a return: King Arthur's sword, Excalibur (along with the stone). The Statue Of Liberty's hand and torch is also teased as a loot item in a dev blog about the loot system.
    • Did you do the truly Evil thing and pre-order? Well then, one of your pre-order bonus loot items is the Fountain of Youth.
    • One of the treasures you can steal is Pandora's Box, but it's specifically to make sure nobody opens it again.
  • Pun: Pundreds of them, many of them also Shout Outs, especially in the Schemes. Selling a sound system full of fish? All About That Bass. Kidnapping a famous person said to have a body made of stone? The Great Dwayne Robbery. Bribing a bunch of jurors with gelato to vote not guilty? Twelve Hungry Men. A fighting ring in small round tent? Bring The Yurt. And so on.
  • Ray Gun: One of the loot items you can steal is a set of alien laser pistols from Area 51 your guards can wield instead of normal guns.
  • Real Event, Fictional Cause: Creating the 'Storm Area 51' meme, popular in late 2019, is part of a side-story to rob the place.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Common among the many Schemes the Genius can pull off.
    • A gameplay trailer shows one scheme to lower heat is to rebrand your Evil Genius as a magician and claim that all of their criminal acts were just illusions.
    • One generic Scheme proposes wrapping an entire town in plastic wrap then selling the residents scissors to cut their way to freedom.
    • Another early-game generic Scheme is simply packing an old loudspeaker full of random trash and expired fish then selling it as an art piece.
    • The first step of stealing the Declaration of Independence is just asking the President if you can have it.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Inverted, and used to explain why after you steal Excalibur it's only used to give a stat buff to minions and not as a weapon.
    Flavor Text: Merlin claimed whoever wielded this sword would never fall in battle. That might have been true before they invented guns and heavy artillery.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: Not only an available trap, but an available loot item that functions as a trap too.
  • Shark Pool: One of the available traps is a pool with sharks.
  • Socialite: One of the new Deception Minions is explicitly named Socialite. They are the second-tier Deception minion, and are primarily geared toward keeping guests and Agents occupied.
  • Shiny New Australia: The "Evil Geniuses" development blog mentions offhand that Promoted to Playable Henchman Red Ivan was recruited during the events of Evil Genius and the Evil Genius of that game rewarded him with his own country, the Nation of Ivania. At the start of his campaign, Ivan is forced to flee it when the F.O.J. forces a democratic election that votes him out of office. After spending much of the game trying to reclaim it, he finds that the country's populace doesn't want him back. Enraged, Ivan then fires H.A.V.O.C. at his own country, and then vows to make the whole world his new Ivania.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The pre-purchase announcement mentioned that the Deluxe Edition would include an additional loot item — the Aurora Borealis, localized entirely within your lair.
    • During a side mission to steal the Declaration of Independence, the first attempt involves trying to convince the President to just give it to you by telling him there's a treasure map on the back... and once you steal it anyway, it turns out there actually is a treasure map on it.
    • One of the distraction missions involves throwing a polka concert starring a "curly-haired musician".
    • One of the Jane Steeles dresses like Trinity.
    • All over the place in one chapter of Emma's campaign. When searching for evidence that John Steele Sr. survived, all the schemes for finding evidence have names that are plays off of various James Bond movie titles.
    • The flavor text for the Cupid treasure references a Bon Jovi song, of all things.
    • During Sir Daniel's questline, when it comes time to fight John Steele, a minion points out it's time to pit Spy vs. Hunter.
  • Spy Speak: Once you get Counter-Agents (the highest tier of Deception minion), the conversation with your Genius is... certainly something;
    Counter Agent: Eagle to Sparrow. Code word Monarch is Status Green. Translation: 
    Genius: I didn't understand any of that! Say something else.
    Counter Agent: Monarch is Status Red. Repeat. Monarch is Red. Situation FUBAR. Need extraction route.Translation: 
    Genius: Get out of my sight and do some espionage before you make me even angrier!
  • Straw Critic: Actively exploited by the Genius in one low level money making scheme, which involves ridding yourself of some bad fish and broken electronics by filling a speaker with rotting fish, calling it art, and allowing the natural pretentiousness of art critics to do its thing.
  • Super Soldier: Atomic Olga, the H.A.M.M.E.R. Super Agent, is explicitly described as one.
  • Take Over the World: It's in the title. As shown by the dev blog introducing our villain protagonists, the road to taking over the world is unique to each Evil Genius, with each one building their own custom Doomsday Device for the purpose.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Social Minions from the first game were mostly meant to keep Tourists and Agents from asking questions, and had no further utility than distracting said characters. Now, though, higher-tier Deception Minions can see through the disguises used by investigators, giving them more utility for base defense. They can also drain Agent stats, making it far more likely that the affected Agents will fall into traps if they infiltrate the lair. In some cases, these Deception Minions can cause Agents to leave the island entirely without ever stepping foot inside the lair.
  • Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: One of the treasures the player can steal is a giant emerald. As big as a person and around twice as wide.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: A few examples with side missions due to outstanding bugs, exacerbated by how side missions can't be canceled by the player once accepted. One of the most egregious is Sir Daniel's recruitment Side Mission 'The Other Most Dangerous Kind of Game'. It can't be completed if you've already killed any of the Super Agents, as you have to defeat each one in your lair once to complete the mission.
  • Trojan Horse: A literal example. Once you steal it and place it in your base, a small army of ANVIL soldiers comes out of it. Later, you can use it for fast, lucrative and massively heat-attracting heists.
  • Vendor Trash: Every base starts off with a dilapidated casino filled with broken equipment meant solely to be sold for some start-up cash.
  • We Have Reserves: Unlike the first game wherein minions could survive executing your schemes, the sequel never has them return from any scheme (and if you cancel, you only get a quarter of the spent resources back at-most) encouraging use of this trope in regards to your minions. Note, though, that they don't necessarily die on the mission - some will get arrested or desert, and survivors take a cut of the proceeds and disappear, and even the Evil Genius outright states that they will not allow them to come back to base whether they succeed or not because "You'll be dragging justice all over my nice clean floors".
  • What the Hell, Player?: Minions and Geniuses will call you out if you try to order them to do something impossible, such as walk into unmined dirt.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Despite being obtainable in both games, Excalibur looks different from the first game.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: A considerable level of research is required to unlock such arcane secrets as using stairs to explore the third dimension of your lair, or arming your minions with handguns. Likewise there are things that are unlocked through some rather arbitrary means, such as not being able to install slot machines in your casino until you unlock the Spindoctor minion type, which in the initial release only happened a good bit through the game (a later update added the Spindocter with the first tier of unlockable specialists, mitigating this slightly).
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: As with the original, you can execute minions to provide other nearby minions with a short-lived boost to their performance. However you can also execute Henchmen now, which is the only way to get rid of them permanently - useful if you've found their skills don't suit your playstyle and you're already at your capacity for Henchmen. It's also mandatory if you're going for the Gotta Catch 'Em All achievement to recruit every available Henchman, and, by its own admission, that means;
    Some betrayal required.

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