Final Zone, also known as FZ Senki Axis in it's Japanese release, is an Isometric view Run-and-Gun action game made by Wolf Team (before they're merged with Namco) for the Sega Genesis, TurboGrafx-16 and the Sharp X68000.
You are Howard Bowie, an elite soldier and the Commander of the Elite military unit called "Team Undead". Controlling your powerful, heavily-armed K-19 Phantom New Age Power Suit (NAP) exo-suit, you single-handedly take on legions of techno-terrorists in control of some unspecified Weapon of Mass Destruction and are threatening to use them.
A sequel, Final Zone II, is released, also in 1990 (merely 8 months later). Howard Bowie is back, and has been promoted to being The Leader of a bunch of new recruits, consisting of his second-in-command Sub-Lieutenant Momoco Ring, Commander Hanna Franks, heavy weapons specialist Lieutenant Randy Hansen and saber combat expert Izak Velder. A botched mission leaves most of Howard's team except his recruits dead, and they must continue their mission from there; unlike the first game the player is allowed to choose between the five protagonists, each having different stats, strengths and weaknesses. The sequel also allows firing in eight instead of only four directions, and cutscenes in-between levels to narrate a story.
The Final Zone series contains examples of:
- Airborne Mooks: From robotic Attack Drones to helicopters and the like.
- Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: In the second game's ending, Bowie's confrontation of the enemy colonel, Rumen, have Bowie and Rumen pointing guns on each other. Rumen seems to get the drop on Bowie as an offscreen gunshot is heard, but then the camera pans back to reveal Bowie pulling the trigger first.
- Blackout Basement: The sixth level of the first game, a nighttime infiltration and shootout that have your vision limited to a circle around you. You'll need to locate enemies in the stage from the direction of their fired projectiles.
- Blade on a Rope: In the first game, you collect a retractable mechanical hook on a chain that can deal severe damage to everything it hits, and kills most mook-level enemies in a single shot. Though it lacks range and speed compared to firearms, obviously.
- Bloodless Carnage: The first game is at least justified since your enemies are robots, who then explodes without a drop of blood present. But not so much in the sequel, where human soldiers will simply blink out of existence after being hit.
- Boss-Only Level: The final stage of the first game, appropriately titled "Last Level", where you fight Axis, the Final Boss, for the entire stage in a room full of mechanized turrets.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: After the end of the second game's first stage, this is how Howard Bowie found one of his men, heavily wounded and about to succumb to his injuries. Who then bleeds out in Bowie's arms while talking to him."My eyes are failing. I'd be happy to die by your hands..." [passes out while being held by Bowie]
- Downer Beginning: The second game's first stage begins with the heroic infiltration squad in space, well-equipped with their armors and weapons, when a sudden enemy attack blows a hole through their ship, leading to the five playable heroes getting sucked out of the airlock. And then the ship explodes killing every other Redshirt on board. Then the heroes crash-lands on the enemy's planet base and the game begins in proper.
- Dull Surprise: The second game attempts to create a story in-between gameplay by having cutscenes with dialogue included. But owing to the voice actors recording the dialogue in separate rooms, which the game makes no attempt to hide (characters literally take turns to speak in cutscenes) the delivery is somewhere between laughable (this isn't how a man bleeding to his death should sound like) and atrocious.
- Elevator Action Sequence: The first game have the second-to-last level, where you're on a rapidly-rising platform fighting enemies leaping at you (as well as swarms of airborne helicopter drones). Said platform have no railings on the sides and you lose a life instantly by falling over the side.
- Jack of All Stats: Howard Bowie in both games. It's not as evident in the first since he's the only character around, but it's more evident in the sequel when players can cycle between five characters.
- Limited Animation: How the cutscenes in the second game is depicted. Characters when speaking to each other notably all use the same two frames, over and over and over again, of their mouths opened and closed, to create the "illusion" that they really were talking. Meanwhile action sequences occurring outside of gameplay looks like they're animated using PowerPoint slideshows.
- Mecha-Mooks: Every single onscreen enemy in the first game is a robot. The sequel have some human enemies in the terrorist bases however.
- Not Worth Killing: Bowie's final confrontation with Colonel Rumen seems to end like this, with Bowie deciding to holster his weapon. But the Colonel tries shooting Bowie anyways, so Bowie puts a bullet into him.
- One-Man Army: Bowie's single-handedly fighting a terrorist organization in the first game, and winning. This somehow even applies to the sequel, where despite the availability of supporting characters, the game is still for single-player only.
- Outrun the Fireball: How the first game ends; after defeating Axis, you then exit the base down a lengthy corridor while a series of explosions pursues you as the whole place begins blowing up.
- Powered Armor: The mech suits you wear in each game are these, allowing you to rampage across enemy territories.
- Sentry Gun: Both games have turrets installed all over enemy bases capable of firing at you when in range.
- Spider Tank: The boss of "Spider Web", unsurprisingly. Though this one has the ability to hover above the ground instead of crawling around on it's legs like other examples of this trope.
- Title Drop: None in the first game, but the second have a redshirt under Bowie's platoon delivering it before his death."It was the same way, in the Final Zone operation..."
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: The second game have a chase mission where you escape from enemy base via helicopter. And then enemy choppers comes in pursuit, turning the whole stage into a top-down shooter.
- Wolfpack Boss: From the first game.
- The first boss of the first game, Great Bull, is just a series of robots and turrets installed on a platform shooting at you. Destroy them all and the platform blows up.
- The Black Knights are a trio of robots in slightly stronger armor, who make circles orbiting around you while taking potshots until you destroy them all. The battle actually becomes progressively easier once you took down one or two of them.