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Guns, Gore & Cannoli is a 2015 Run-and-Gun game by Rogueside Games, based on the animated short film Hellbent For Whiskey.

Welcome to Thugtown, a Prohibition-era city run by the mafia and plagued with zombies. You control Vinnie Cannoli, a mob enforcer sent to find Frankie "The Fly," a small-time wise guy who went missing during the outbreak.

In March 2018 a sequel, Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 was released. It takes place 15 years later in 1944 and features a temporarily-retired Vinnie getting caught up in a globe-spanning conspiracy involving more mafiosos, more zombies, and Those Wacky Nazis.

In June 2021 it was announced that Rogueside is working on a Warhammer 40,000-themed Spiritual Successor titled Shootas, Blood & Teef.


Guns, Gore, and Cannoli includes examples of:

  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: Thugtown has a pretty extensive sewer system, and is big enough to hide things like poison production facilities and the water level is deep enough to allow some tunnels to act as submarine bays.
  • Action Girl: One of the skins the player can equip in each game lets them play as a Stripperiffic woman. Notably this mutes Vinnie's banter, as the only lines she has are grunts when taking damage (or whenever she kicks some poor enemies in the groin).
    • The sequel has a second playable female skin, who turns out to be a long-haired blonde in a less revealing but certainly anachronistic outfit that would have fit in a later time period (who wears pink pants in the 40's?).
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Vinnie Cannoli is much more capable in these games than he was in Hellbent For Whiskey. For one, he ends up taking down hundreds, if not thousands of zombies alone (including a giant mutant rat), rather than a few dozen with help from Paulie like in the animated film. He then goes on to fight the US Army plus both the Bonnino and Bellucio Gangs, and survives all his encounters with them. And that's not getting into what happens in 2, with Vinnie revealed to be outright immune to the zombie poison, and going on to fight in Europe, help the Allies secure Omaha Beach, wipe out battalions of Nazi soldiers, and even take down a Nazi wonderweapons operation.
    • Frankie the Fly counts as well. Rather than remaining as a lowly gangster, he ends up joining the Nazi cause in the 1930s and ends up becoming the leader of his own private army, complete with access to advanced tech, battalions of willing collaborators and Nazi soldiers. And even before that, he was established to be a World War I veteran and a pilot, which he wasn't in the original animation.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Whereas the origins of the tainted whiskey in Hellbent For Whiskey remained a Riddle for the Ages throughout the animated film, here it's revealed that the tainted whiskey was in fact contaminated by a special poison, whose side effects included turning those who drank it into cannibalistic maniacs. Said poison was originally commissioned by the US government, who abandoned the project after being horrified of the immediate effects of said poison. The German scientist responsible for concocting the poison was then hired by Frankie the Fly to produce more of it, so that Frankie could taint the whiskey on St. Patrick's Day and create the perfect distraction for his own Evil Plan.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Frankie the Fly, oh so much. In Hellbent For Whiskey, while he still ends up betraying the Bellicios, he was merely acting on orders from the Constelli Crime Family to destroy the Bellucios' brewery. Here, he purposefully infects almost everyone in Thugtown with zombie poison-laced alcohol, backstabs both the Bonnitos and the Bellucios (even personally murdering Don Bellucio via headshot), and attempts to steal Don Bellucio's entire fortune for himself. And, after that Evil Plan is foiled, he decides to sell out his own country by working closely with the Nazis, amassing a massive fortune from providing them with the zombie poison formula and wonderweapons research. And even after that, he decides to plan on eventually Taking Over The World, by unleashing the Zombie Apocalypse on the Allies and eventually replacing Hitler as the new Nazi leader.
  • America Won World War II: Vinnie and the US Army are the only ones shown landing on D-Day and fighting inland. Justified Trope, given that Omaha Beach is well within the American Sector of Operations, far west of where British and Canadian units were landing and operating in.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • Shotgun shells in both games are depicted as having plastic hulls. These would not be invented until the late-'60s, but there are hardly many cardboard shotgun shells around for the developers to use as artistic reference.
    • The US Army uses bazookas and flamethrowers in the first game, both of which weren't issued until World War II despite being in development during the Prohibition Era (one could explain the latter case as an American modification of World War I vintage German flamethrowers, which most certainly could have been captured and reverse-engineered).
    • The Grenade Launcher is a Milkor MGL with the butt-stock from a Sturmgewehr and a Thompson M1921 grip. The MGL would not be designed until 1980.
    • Apparently, selfies by camera were also a thing in 1940's Nazi Germany, if the Sturmgewehr-wielding soldier's Idle Animations are anything to go by. Then again, people have been attempting to take selfies since the 1920's in real life...
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Both games have save points in the form of strategically placed traffic lights. Said save points also have plenty of cannoli to heal the player. If the player's having a hard time, he can choose to restart from the previous checkpoint. The game's difficulty level can be changed from the pause menu as well.
    • In the sequel, weapons that run out of ammo are removed from your inventory altogether so you don't have to cycle through empty weapons.
  • Badass Boast: Vinnie might say it whenever his favorite food is consumed...
    Vinnie: "If God made a dessert, it would be cannoli."
  • Batter Up!: The first game has Vinnie insulting enemy gangsters who unsuccessfully bring baseball bats into a gunfight. In the sequel, his reserve melee weapon happens to be a baseball bat he stole from a hostile gangster. Interestingly, two hits from a baseball bat will kill regular enemies.
    Vinnie: "When I play baseball, a home-run means you're out!"
  • Bayonet Ya: Most German gas mask soldiers will try to bayonet charge you. Oddly, they don't fire the attached riflesnote . What makes the gas mask soldiers annoying apart from charging in large groups whenever possible is that they can stab you beyond the reach of a well-aimed kick, meaning that the best way to deal with them while reloading a gun is either running away or closing in for a melee attack (baseball bat, kicking, or chainsaw) before they can do the same.
  • Berserk Button: Betrayals are one for Vinnie. Every time he got betrayed by characters in both games either set him off on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against them and/or deliver a Cruel and Unusual Death as payback.
  • Big Bad: Frankie the Fly is the one behind the zombie outbreak in Thugtown, having poisoned the local alcohol supply using a batch of special poison concocted by a German scientist he was in contact with. Following his plan getting foiled at the end of the first game, he returns as this in 2, under the alias of the Dark Don, working closely with Hitler and Those Wacky Nazis in attempting to Take Over the World.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:Frankie seems like a nice, meek fellow, but is actually a spiteful psychopath who starts a zombie apocalypse to get back at the local mafia families for not giving him enough "respect."
  • BFG:
    • One of the weapons you can get in the first game is a Maxim Gun, more specifically the German MG-08/15.
    • Replacing the Maxim Gun in the sequel is the MG42, a belt-fed machine gun that has the fastest firing rate amongst the selection of automatic weapons, on top of not needing to be reloaded at all.
    • In the second game, you can commandeer unmanned heavy flak guns. This requires grabbing up a flak shell and using the action button to load it into the cannon breech. Manning and using one is also vital in defeating Joe Barista and his Tiger tank.
  • Bond One-Liner: Vinnie does this a lot. Some of the lines depend on the weapon used to kill his enemies, others will either be complaints or taunts. A few of the lines involve Breaking the Fourth Wall.
  • Boom, Headshot!: The quickest way to kill enemies in general is to shoot them in the head. This is however complicated in the first game by enemies who wear helmets (soldier zombies and regular soldiers wear bulletproof helmets and must be shot exactly in the face or in the back of the head to decapitate them, not an easy feat).
    Vinnie: "That'll cost you an arm and a leg... and a head."
  • Bottomless Magazines: In both games, the reserve pistol will have infinite ammunition, but it has a magazine count of 12 shots in the first and 10 shots in the sequel. It is also recommended that one top off the magazine frequently (one may appreciate the kick button if reloading a gun while getting mobbed by zombies).
  • Buffy Speak: The Dark Don, just before the U-boat fight. Before that, the German commander asks Vinnie to surrender and so it goes...
    Vinnie: "Oh yeah? You'd better have a freaking army ready if you want to put me in that thing alive!"
    Dark Don:' "Ever heard of the Wehrmacht? We've got about a ZILLION soldiers! NAZIS, TAKE HIM!!"
  • Call-Back: When Vinnie reaches the submarine bay in the sequel. An establishing shot of the U-boat shows a large row of giant vats with one of them still holding the body of the scientist that Vinnie threw inside (although obviously now a skeleton due to how long it's been floating in the vat). Another call back in the same scene is Vinnie killing a baseball bat-wielding goon with his Tommy gun by shooting him in the throat. Just like he did when he first saved Frankie, most likely foreshadowing as in this cutscene the Dark Don is present.
  • Car Fu: This happens a lot in the sequel!
    • Sometimes, gangsters will try to run you down with a car.
    • The police in Syndicate City love using their vans as battering rams, killing lots of people in the process.
    • Failing to jump over the Tiger Tank while fighting it will result in you taking damage and Joe will mock you.
      Joe: "Road-kill!! Heh-heh-heh!"
  • Chainsaw Good: The second melee weapon in the sequel is a chainsaw that Vinnie stole from the gangsters who tied him up. It causes victims (including giant zombies) to helplessly flinch while the player saws them to death.
    Vinnie: "Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were a tree!"
  • Cherry Tapping: It's generally a good thing to remember that you can kick enemies away while you reload your gun (in fact, the game's interface bothers telling you in a most insulting manner to start kicking if you get mob attacked by zombies unless you've turned off the tutorial functions). If you kick a mob of enemies (whether humans, zombies, or even huge rats) against a wall, you can get the satisfaction of kicking them to death, as they cannot attack while recovering from the kick attacks. In the sequel, it is also possible to kick homing missiles away in order to destroy them! The only enemies Vinnie can't stun through kicking are the giant mutant zombies, but thankfully they are few in number.
    Vinnie: "Ain't that a kick in the teeth?!"
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Frankie definitely suffers from this disorder. His victims have been: Vinnie, the mob bosses,the scientist who created the zombie plague,the Nazis in the sequel... nobody is safe from this guy!
  • Cool Airship:
    • Bellucio has one, and he needs Frankie (who's a pilot) to fly it for him. It serves as the final boss, protected by heavy armor, grenade launchers, and machine guns. Vinnie boards it after shooting its armor and guns to pieces.
    • Frankie, as the Dark Don, turns out to have developed a new generation of airships for the Nazis, in the form of the Haunebu. After defeating Frankie's personal airship, Vinnie ends up stealing another one to escape the German base, and ends up crashing in Roswell, NM.
  • Cool Boat: In the sequel, you have to fight a German U-boat.
  • Cool Guns: Plenty of them are available beyond common sense! Sawed-off shotguns, Tommy Guns, all of the golden oldies from the Gangster era. Military issue weapons can also be stolen from the US Army (and from the Nazis in the sequel).
  • Cool Helmet: The US Army soldiers (and soldier zombies) in the first game wear Brodie Helmets, which are more effective at deflecting bullets than they were in real life. In the sequel, however, while the game does show the Wehrmacht's stahlhelms and the American M1 Helmet, no helmet can stop Vinnie's bullets.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Gangsters vs. Zombies vs. the US Army. The sequel is Gangsters vs. Zombies vs. Stupid Jetpack Zombie-Making Hitler, with the police and the US Army thrown into the mix.
  • Crosshair Aware: The sequel game features manned heavy flak cannons that try to target Vinnie directly. When a German soldier loads a shell into the cannon and aims at Vinnie, a crosshair circle and a red aiming line (the shell's trajectory) appear. When the targeting circle stops shrinking and the loading process is done, the cannon will fire and explode the first thing that intersects its aiming line including any German soldiers who happen to be in front of the cannon. Thankfully, Vinnie can easily dodge the shell and mislead the flak gunners. This shell-dodging is very much emphasized during the fight against the Tiger Tank, as its main gun loads and fires much faster than the flak turrets.
  • Deader than Dead: As revenge for his betrayal, Vinnie shoots Joe Barista with an 88 mm Flak cannon, leaving little more than a bloody stain on the ground. And to make sure Frankie is really dead this time, Vinnie tosses him into a giant meat grinder.
  • Deadly Gas: Soldiers from the first game throw gas grenades more liberally than gangsters throw the exploding variety, since their gas masks make them immune. The fact that they actually have poison gas grenades used on American soil tells you just how bad somebody in the federal government wants this city locked down.
    • Since nukes haven't been invented yet, this is how the Army wipes out the city. The sequel shows that this wasn't terribly effective, as Thugtown still has a significant zombie presence.
  • Deadly Rotary Fan: The Dark Don's laboratory is full of giant spinning blades that grind anybody caught in them to a pulp. It's justified, as the Don specifically wants to turn Vinnie into Ludicrous Gibs to harvest his blood.
  • Demoted to Extra: Paulie, Vinnie's partner in the cartoon, is reduced to being the default 2nd Player Character during coop mode. That said, it is confirmed that he exists within the game continuity, albeit in a supporting and background role rather than as a main character.
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: The first game only lets Vinnie shoot directly to his right or left, which could get somewhat annoying when dealing with certain enemies with bullet-proof headgear (or bullet proof shields covering their torsos) or attacking from awkward angles. The standard solution to this problem was the fact that Vinnie could carry up to 9 grenades and 9 Molotov cocktails on his person and toss the stuff on enemies diagonally below or toss the stuff over barricades. The sequel gives you a full 360 degrees of aim (but it takes away hand grenades and Molotov cocktails).
  • Did Not Think This Through: Frankie tries to wipe out the gangsters by spiking their alcohol with a poison that'll turn them into zombies. It turns out that the mob only drinks imported alcohol and not the local brews that he spikes, and he ends up turning everyone except them into zombies.
  • Dirty Cop: Implied with the Syndicate City Metropolitan Police, who attempt to apprehend Vinnie Cannoli despite the US government explicitly having pardoned him years prior. It's highly likely that they were motivated to capture him thanks to the Dark Don's cash incentives. The police officers themselves during their idle animations keep showing interest in a wanted poster of Vinnie stating that there's a million dollar bounty on him.
  • Diesel Punk: The games take place during The Roaring '20s and World War II, with plenty of tesla guns and Wunderwaffen-style super-weapons.
  • The Dragon: Commander Wienerschnitzel serves as the Dark Don's in 2, commanding regular German forces of battalion strength, being Joe Barista's main contact in the Nazi hierarchy, and attempting to help the Dark Don capture Vinnie Cannoli.
  • Dry Crusader: The Bureau of Prohibition, having realized that Prohibition enforcement through normal police methods was a failure, created a poison so they could spike the ingredients of alcohol. It was rejected because the effects were too... "extravagant."
  • During the War: The sequel takes place smack dab in the middle of World War II, with recruitment and propaganda posters throughout the United States, and Nazi spies and soldiers secretly operating on US soil.
  • Elite Mooks: Army soldiers in the first game. They have high health, powerful military grade weapons, and smaller headshot hitboxes (bullets bounce off their helmets).
    • The sequel shows that the Army quarantines Thugtown with a concrete barrier, improvising fortified strongholds and machine gun turrets in the ruined buildings.
    • Each game has its own array of specialized zombies that have unique abilities compared to the basic shamblers.
      • In the first game, you have Runners (in the forms of attractive women, butlers, and waiters), Armored Zombies (carrying placards that mean only explosives, fire, or headshots can kill them), Vomit Zombies (zombie housewives who constantly and literally belch clouds of poisonous gas, whose heads burst off when killed and whose bodies keep running around spewing toxic fumes for several seconds afterwards), Soldier Zombies of the "sporadically firing zombie" version (coming in the pistol-packing police and helmeted, tommy-gun-toting soldier), and a fast-moving Brute (zombie footballer, who charges at Vinnie and sends him flying). It also has "Big Zombies", which combine the Brute and Bruiser roles with projectile attacks (a hatchet-flinging chef and a barrel-hurling stevedore), and Zombie Leprechauns, which are midgets who float around on balloons and lob bottles of toxic absinthe at Vinnie.
      • The sequel has prisoner zombies and huge mutant zombies.
  • Enemy Mine: Vinnie ends up helping the US Army to take down the Nazis in Europe, despite the latter having attempted to kill him at Thugtown (once during the original zombie outbreak in the 1920s, and then again when Vinnie returns in 1944). In return for Vinnie singlehandedly breaching the Atlantic Wall defenses on D-Day, the Army ends up providing him with weapons and ammunition to take down the Nazis' and particularly the Dark Don's operations.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite Vinnie being an unrepentant mob enforcer, he was genuinely horrified by the Scientist's creation of a toxin that would turn any drinkers into zombies (even causing the Prohibition Bureau to shut down the program as a result) and Frankie's instigation of entire Zombie Apocalypse from his financial backing. He also shows disgust towards the Nazis, who try to kidnap him twice and one of his grudges against Frankie include his willing collaboration with them. note 
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Every car you come across will blow up if shot enough. Played for laughs in the sequel, where enemy attempts to run you over will be invariably cut short by their cars bursting into flame and exploding due to crashing into theaters or due to getting hit by bullets, explosives, flamethrowers, or even police vans.
    • This doesn't apply to the police vans in the sequel, which are insanely tough and can drive in reverse fast enough to smash through brick walls. Very thankfully, Vinnie doesn't have to worry about the vans running him down, as they stop after smashing through walls (he does have to worry about the policemen who storm out of the vans).
  • False Friend: Frankie in the first game, who becomes the antagonist of 1 and 2. Joe Barista takes up the role in 2, since he deliberately keeps sending Vinnie into the Dark Don's hands and is collaborating with the Nazis. Vinnie is less than pleased about Joe's betrayal and takes revenge using an 88mm Flak cannon to disintegrate him after defeating the Tiger Tank.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Zombie Hookers are discolored, slack jawed, and bug-eyed. They're also dressed in lingerie and, um, jiggle. It doesn't help that they try to whip the player to death.
    • The sequel features plenty of zombie women with large busts (some are scantily clad maids). Vinnie doesn't want to get close to them, no matter how attractive they might be even in death.
      Vinnie: "You're damaged goods, lady!"
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: A rare inversion of Videogame Flamethrowers Suck, as the flamethrower incinerates your enemies pretty effectively. The first game gives the player Molotov cocktails as well.
    Vinnie: "Lit them up like a Christmas tree!"
    • The sequel has a flamethrower with a much longer range and a bigger fuel tank.
      Vinnie: "Come on over, I'm having a FIRE SALE!!"
  • Foe-Tossing Charge:
    • Football zombies from the first game will tackle victims and send them flying.
    • Mafia brawlers do the same thing in the sequel, and anything short of explosives fails to stop the charge. Do not try the chainsaw or baseball bat on them unless the brawlers have stopped charging and are in close proximity to you.
  • Foreshadowing: There's a few in the sequel.
    • When the Dark Don is finally shown, he knows the place where the zombie poison was made, and the same tank-top wearing and baseball bat-wielding thug is killed with a shot to the throat. Pretty much foreshadows that Frankie was the Dark Don all along.
    • Once Vinnie makes it outside during the first level, a few parked Opel Blitz trucks, a vehicle used by the Wehrmacht, make an appearance despite the current setting being the United States. What's more, German weapons like the Flammenwerfer 35 and Mauser C96 are made available as weapon pickups in both Syndicate City (Vinnie's hometown) and the Thugtown Quarantine Zone. The final Thugtown level then shows us that the Dark Don Syndicate are, in fact, working with the Nazis, who themselves are shown to be operating on US soil to transport barrels of zombie poison back to Germany.
    • When Vinnie visits Joe Barista again after escaping Thugtown from the Dark Don and his subordinates. A Wehrmacht officer's cap is seen on the table inside of the bar.
  • Gas Mask Mooks:
    • US Army soldiers in the first game are of the Gas Mask, Longcoat variety. Most of their lines are them complaining about how hard it is to see through them.
      "My eye holes are fogging up!"
    • Bayonet-wielding German soldiers and German soldiers with Molotov cocktails in the sequel wear gas masks. Less justified in this case since there's no poison gas in this one.
      Bayonet-wielding soldier, upon sighting Vinnie: "Fix bayonets!"
  • Gangster Land:
    • Literally the only people left alive in Thugtown are mobsters (although the US Army's moved in as of late). It's because they drink imported alcohol and not the poisoned local booze, and they have the firepower and numbers to fend off the zombies.
    • Vinnie's hometown is called Syndicate City. The city's name is clearly printed on its police vans.
  • Hand Cannon:
    • The magnum revolver in the first game can decapitate two regular enemies in a row. It has a long reload time and a slow rate of fire, but it has a very long killing range. It's also worth noting that the magnum is the only weapon apart from the starting pistol that Vinnie aims at head level, which thanks to Denial of Diagonal Attack means it's one of the few weapons that can reliably take out enemies with torso shields (conversely, it's nigh useless against helmeted enemies unless Vinnie shoots from a crouching position).
    • The sequel replaces the magnum revolver with a broom-handle Mauser. The Mauser pistol has a six-round detachable magazine (in real life, the original Mauser C96 had a fixed ten-round magazine fed by stripper clips) and a very short reloading cycle. This time it can instakill with a body shot, but can only achieve a One-Hit Polykill on headshots.
      Vinnie upon killing enemy with a head-shot: "Huh, he had more brains than I thought."
  • Historical In-Joke:
    • The concept of adding toxins to barrels of bootleg, which one of the scientists tried to introduce zombification and caused the plan to be scrapped, was based on the government's practice in real life Prohibition in order to prevent alcohol consumption (though the real-life measure was used for industrial-purpose alcohol).
    • In The Stinger of the sequel, after defeating and then stealing one of the Dark Don's UFO's, Vinnie crashes it into Roswell. This refers to the Roswell UFO Incident.
    • Vinnie's disdain for the Nazis echoes the reality that the Mafia hated the Nazis because the Nazis supported the Italian Fascists (who attempted to wipe out the old Mafia families in Sicily), and in fact they literally made an under-the-table deal with the US government to use their influence to stamp out Nazi spies, collaborators, and saboteurs!
  • Hollywood Acid:
    • Doughboys Grenade Spam Mustard Gas canisters.
    • Housewife Zombies belch green gas everywhere.
      Vinnie, having killed a housewife zombie: "You should've stayed in the kitchen."
    • Plague Rats and the Rat King vomit.
    • The River is chockful of toxic waste.
    • Leprechauns throw bottles of absinthe, giving a concentrated dose of poisoned booze to whatever they hit.
      Vinnie getting hit by acid: "Ew, nasty..."
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: As his name suggests, Vinnie's favorite food is cannoli, which also serves as the healing item of the game.
    Vinnie: "Oh, cannoli! My favorite dessert!"
  • Hypocrite: In the first game, Frankie, being a World War I veteran, makes big of how he served the US Armed Forces as a pilot, being a patriot and all. Come the events of the sequel, however, this is shown to be nothing but a farce, with Frankie (under the alias of the Dark Don) willingly and actively collaborating with the Nazis in fighting against the United States.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Played for Laughs as a kill quip.
    Vinnie: "I'm sorry, I thought da safety was on!"
  • I'm Melting!: Victims of poison gas melt into a puddle of goo. The animation is very detailed.
  • Insistent Terminology: Frankie constantly insists that he's a "war hero" due to serving back in WWI.
  • Insult Backfire: Vinnie accidentally finds that he needs to modify his taunts against zombies.
    Vinnie: "Eat me... No, wait, no, I mean, uh, STOP eating me!"
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Played for Laughs as a kill quip in the sequel.
    Vinnie: "I surrender!! Heh, heh, just kidding."
  • Karma Houdini: Vinnie would have been convicted for multiple counts of gruesome murder had it not been for the fact that all of the victims and all of the evidence are now stuck in a quarantined zone that's permanently guarded by the US Army.note 
    • The government released him because his blood provides immunity to the zombie poison. They deduced this after wondering how Vinnie wasn't turned undead despite getting bitten a lot by zombies. This also means that if a large horde of zombies show up in the near future, the government can plan to grab Vinnie, sample some of his blood, and mass produce the antidote once they figure out how to extract the immunity factor.
  • Karmic Death: Vinnie shoves the Mad Scientist who made the poison into one of his own vats of the stuff. Also, Vinnie tosses Frankie off the blimp to his Disney Villain Death apparent demise. Unfortunately for Vinnie, Frankie comes back as the Dark Don in the sequel without any explanation as to how he survived a 20 story drop, poison gas, and lots of zombies. Thankfully, Vinnie kills him off for real by tossing him into a giant meat grinder after beating him in the final boss level.
  • Les Collaborateurs: In 2, as it turns out, the enemy gangsters, who are American given their accents, pursuing Vinnie since the start of the game are part of the Dark Don's personal syndicate, and are working closely with the Nazis, who are enemies of the United States, in both transporting the zombie poison to Germany and attempting to kill or capture Vinnie. Later in the game, Vinnie himself finds out that his friend and pilot Joe Barista is one of them too, having received a huge payment by the Dark Don to sell Vinnie out.
  • Ludicrous Gibs:
    • Large zombies that throw stuff at the player in the first game explode into a bloody mess when they die. Getting too close to them at that moment of death causes the remains to splatter the screen.
      Vinnie: "Aw, now look what you did, there's blood everywhere!"
    • In the sequel, victims of chainsaws, falling air conditioners, speeding cars, sucking ventilation fans, explosions, and MG-42's can get ripped to shreds.
      Vinnie, after shredding enemies with chainsaw: "Two arms! Two arms! And what should I cut off next!?"
      Vinnie, after gibbing enemies at random: "Collect your limbs and get outta my face!"
  • Mle Trois:
    • In the original, it's Vinnie versus The Mafia versus the Zombies versus the US Army.
    • In 2, it's Vinnie and the US Army (via an Enemy Mine) versus the Nazis and Dark Don Syndicate versus the zombies. Vinnie initially fights the Army near Thugtown, before later helping them capture Omaha Beach, with the Army later repaying Vinnie by providing him with ammunition resupply.
  • The Mole: Joe Barista in 2, a close friend and pilot for Vinnie, turns out to be a Nazi spy and associate of both Commander Wienerschnitzel and the Dark Don.
  • More Dakka: Plenty of it. The first game gives the player the Thompson submachine gun (with the period-correct 50 round drum) and the Maxim MG-08/15 with an 80 round belt-box.
    Vinnie: "Alright, who's next, step right up, fifty bullets, no waiting- aha! My next customer!"
    • The sequel features a Thompson with its magazine capacity reduced to 25 rounds (the player can carry up to 215 spare rounds), the MP-40 (30 round magazine and 130 cartridges in reserve), the Sturmgewehr (25 round magazine and 125 rounds in reserve), and the MG-42 (130 round belt, no reload).
      Vinnie: "Filled them up like a Thanksgiving turkey!"
  • Multiple-Choice Past: The game, the short animated film, and the comic are in different continuities.
  • Nazi Zombies: In 2, Vinnie starts encountering zombified Nazi soldiers around the Dark Don's Elaborate Underground Base, presumably thanks to the side effects of harnessing the zombie poison. In addition, the Dark Don and the Nazis have also been experimenting with giant zombies, augmenting them by providing them with advanced weapon attachments.
  • Nintendo Hard: One of the difficulty levels is "Impossible." You can guess how hard the game becomes, with the player taking massive damage per enemy attack and enemies spawning in huge numbers at random moments.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: Vinnie is always wearing his default outfit regardless of which skin is equipped. He also uses his tommy gun in them, even if in game the player has no ammo for it.
  • No Swastikas: Rather than the swastika, the Germans use either the Balkenkreuz on their vehicles, or, alternatively, the Dark Don Syndicate's logo. The latter helps to foreshadow the Dark Don's Evil Plan to eventually usurp Hitler as the leader of the Nazis.
  • Nominal Hero: Vinnie Cannoli is an unrepentant mob enforcer who just happens to be stuck in the middle of a zombie outbreak. Not to mention he walks away with the Bellucio mob family's fortune at the end, even though it's blood money of the reddest sort thanks to Frankie's plans. In the sequel, Vinnie mentions in a kill quip to the player that it's tough being a hero (as he is fighting on America's unknowing behalf against the Nazis and their plan to create a zombie army).
    Vinnie: "And here's the really odd thing: I'm the good guy!"
  • Not Quite Dead: In the sequel, the Dark Don is revealed to be a very much alive Frankie.
  • Older Than They Look: Despite the fact that 15 years have passed in-between the first and second game, Vinnie doesn't look like he's aged a day. And he certainly doesn't act like he's aged a day either, as the Dark Don's goons find out the hard way.
  • One-Man Army: Vinnie, who takes on two gangs, a city full of zombies, a battalion of the US Army, giant rats in the sewers, and a rogue blimp. In the sequel, Vinnie faces gangsters aligned with the Dark Don, several truck-loads of local police (who seem to have reneged on the government's promise on not prosecuting Vinnie for the Thugtown incident), the Thugtown unit of the US Army, countless zombies, a U-boat, a Tiger tank, and several divisions of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS. How the US Army could not keep up with Vinnie and send support for his "operation" after the Normandy landings is nearly beyond common sense, given that he raided the Atlantic Wall and massacred an entire garrison of supposedly elite German soldiers by himself. But since the Army airdropped supply crates to Vinnie during his fight against a Tiger Tank, we can assume that he somehow blackmailed the top brass into giving him weapons and a radio plus permission to go after the Dark Don alone after Vinnie killed the German commander at Normandy.
    Vinnie: "It's tough being a hero."
  • Opportunistic Bastard: Frankie is absurdly good at sniffing out opportunities to advance his goals. In both games, he gets a Near-Villain Victory despite little apparent planning.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: By and large, they take after the general Romero conventions, with serving of Plague Zombie on the side. However, they seem to retain certain elements of their former lives zombies in football gear will attempt to charge-tackle the player, soldier zombies and some police zombies can still fire their guns (albeit without much accuracy), and quite a few more specialized zombies will serve to make gameplay less boring.
    Vinnie: "Is it just me, or am I whacking the same guys over and over again?!"
    • It's even worse in the sequel, because the majority of zombies will run after the player. Soldier zombies in the sequel can actually aim their guns before firing (after saluting their intended victims, of course). And now there are giant mutant zombies, some of which are given rocket launchers by the Nazis.
      Vinnie: "You're a zombie? Sheesh, you've got more life in you than my ex-wife!"
  • Piggybacking on Hitler: Frankie, as the Dark Don, ends up aiding the Nazi war effort by helping them develop wonderweapons projects, which includes the zombie serum. He eventually hopes to succeed Hitler and lead the Nazis once the tide of the war turns back in their favor, but is stopped by Vinnie before any of that can materalize.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The first mafia family you encounter are well aware that Frankie has something to do with the zombie outbreak, but they aren't very interested in telling this to Vinnie and Vinnie isn't very interested in asking. Not that they don't already want to kill Vinnie anyway, as he was hired by a rival family.
  • Pretender Diss: Vinnie looks down on the mobsters that the Dark Don sends after him.
    Vinnie: "Everyone's a gangster until a gangster walks into the room!"
  • Quick Melee: Both games have assigned a button for Vinnie's default melee attack, which is a good kick to an adjacent enemy's center of mass. The first game also featured levers that Vinnie had to kick in order to proceed to the next part of any given level. It is notable that the kick attack was more or less a last resort used to prevent zombies from getting at Vinnie during a reloading cycle.
    • In the sequel, Vinnie's kick has been upgraded, despite the usual lack of usage on the part of most players. Vinnie can now perform a sliding kick tackle if he kicks while moving (and in midair, he can perform a flying kick tackle). Kick tackles are particularly useful against enemies with shields.
  • The Quisling: In 2, there's Frankie the Fly, aka the Dark Don, who's been working with the Nazis as one of their top researchers by continuing to experiment with the zombie poison, and leads his own personal syndicate composed of Mafiosos willing to work with the Axis Powers.
  • Red Shirt Army: The US Army in both games (from the public's perspective). It's rather embarrassing to know that in 1944 (during the second game) the soldiers guarding Thugtown (as Mooks relative to the player) can't stop Vinnie. And tragically the soldiers who charge out with Vinnie at Normandy all get killed by German landmines, machine guns, and artillery. The only thing Vinnie can do with the soldiers after they die is loot their corpses for ammunition.
  • Right Under Their Noses: The Dark Don Syndicate and their Nazi German backers are operating in and around the zombie-infested Thugtown Quarantine Zone, despite the area around it being cordoned off by the US Army. Justified Trope, as the Army only guards the inland approaches to Thugtown, and refuses to venture deeper into the town's ruins. What's more, the Dark Don Syndicate and the Nazis used U-boats and the city's ports and sewer systems, located deep within the Quarantine Zone and out of the US Army's eyes, to get their men in and out.
  • Robo Teching: Somehow, the Nazis have created missiles that will chase anything not identified as a Nazi or Dark Don minion. The relatively slow missiles generally chase the player, and can be destroyed by bullets or dodged (or led into exploding near other enemies).
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: One side effect of the zombie poison is causing rats, in addition to turning into zombies themselves, to grow to rather large sizes, ranging from dog-sized to being slightly taller than an adult human. The one that takes the cake, though, is Mickey the Rat, implied to be the first rat to have been exposed to the zombie poison, and is absolutely gigantic to the point he makes Vinnie himself look like a rat by comparison.
  • Rogue Soldier: The Dark Don and his personal army are this to the rest of the Wehrmacht, as while they do have the shared goal to Take Over the World under the Nazi banner, the Dark Don secretly wants to usurp Hitler and his followers and replace them with himself at the top.
  • Roswell That Ends Well: One of the final jokes of the second game has Vinnie crashing the UFO Nazi wonder-weapon similar to the one the Dark Don was using to try to get rid of Vinnie in Roswell; a good three years or so before the real Roswell Incident.
  • Sequel Hook: In the sequel game, Vinnie finishes the self-imposed job he started in Thugtown (killing off Frankie the Fly and making sure he's dead) and crash lands into Roswell via stolen UFO. However, it is not known if he remembered to destroy the secret base and all the zombie poison in it so that nobody could continue making zombies.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Humans and zombies will fight each other. Also, gangsters will fight police.
  • Shield Mook:
    • From the first game, gangsters with unusually thick trash can lids can stop everything short of explosives and Molotov cocktails. Zombies with sandwich boards are also bulletproof everywhere except for their faces. In both cases, it is recommended that the player kick the shield-bearing enemies and then shoot them right after kicking if the player has no explosives on hand.
    • The sequel has police officers with riot shields and Wehrmacht officers who charge after the player with a sword and shield. The shields can be temporarily negated by good kicking or bypassed with explosives or flamethrowers.
  • Shock and Awe: The ultimate weapon in the first game is a lightning-spewing Wunderwaffe found near the Mad Scientist's lab. It electrocutes enemies that get within a particular range of the user.
    Vinnie: "Oh baby, we've got sparks flying all over the place!"
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: In both games, shotguns will deal nasty damage.
    • In the first game, the double-barrel shotgun has really short range but will kill zombies in two hits and knock any surviving enemies back. The pump-action shotgun has slightly longer range and an 8-round magazine. It also knocks enemies away, despite being weaker than the double-barrel shotgun. Unfortunately, the two shotguns do not share ammunition, having been made in different gauges.
    • In the sequel, the shotgun will instantly kill any normal enemy who absorbs all the buckshot from one blast at point-blank range. The knock-back ability is taken up to eleven, allowing the player to launch surviving enemies into the air. The player can also knock the enemies into the ground if the enemies are jumping up from directly below. Thankfully, the shotgun pellets also cause victims (especially giant zombies) to flinch a lot.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: After landing in France and storming the German fortifications, Vinnie confronts the German commander. The commander reveals to Vinnie that the pilot who flew Vinnie to Europe was actually a spy. The German commander then demands that Vinnie immediately surrender (or the Germans will capture him with the use of deadly force). Vinnie responds with a very well made taunt.
    Vinnie: "We'll see how much force you'll be needing to crap out the amounts of lead I'm gonna pump into your gut!"
  • Sigil Spam: The Dark Don's Elaborate Underground Base in the Bavarian Mountains has several Nazi German flags with his imagery on it rather than the usual Nazi swastika. Which helps to foreshadow the Dark Don's, or rather, a Not Quite Dead Frankie the Fly's, Evil Plan to usurp Hitler as Nazi leader.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Frankie the Fly lives much longer here than he did in Hellbent For Whiskey, where he was killed by Vinnie and Paulie mere minutes after his introduction. Whereas Frankie there died in 1928 just before the Zombie Apocalypse happened, here Frankie survives the Thugtown Incident, works with the Nazis during the 1930s and well into World War II, and is only killed for good when Vinnie storms his mountain base and throws Frankie to his death via sawblades.
  • Stationary Enemy: The Nazis in 2 make use of various fixed gun emplacements in an attempt to stop Vinnie and the Allies, ranging from fixed MG42 machine gun emplacements, to mortars, Flak guns, and even Nebelwerfer launchers firing guided missiles. These weapons are placed in vital areas, and must be destroyed by Vinnie, lest he take severe damage and get killed.
  • Storming the Beaches: Vinnie, alongside several US Army soldiers, storm Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. Unfortunately, all of the US soldiers accompanying Vinnie get killed by German fire or landmines, forcing Vinnie to take out the German defensive positions by himself.
  • Stripperiffic: The player can swap Vinnie out for a busty Action Girl wearing mini jean shorts and crop top. Probably not standard fashion in the early 20th century.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: In the first game, the player can carry up to 9 grenades and throw them at enemies.
    Vinnie: "When in doubt, just blow the crap out of it!"
    • In both games there are Exploding Barrels all over the place. The player can also get rocket launchers, which are the bazooka in the first game and the Panzerschreck in the sequel.
      Vinnie: "Hey look, it's Napoleon blown-apart!"
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler:
    • Amongst the German wonderweapons that Vinnie encounters upon landing in mainland Europe include the V2 rocket and guided missile launchers.
    • Frankie, as the Dark Don, ends up becoming one of the Nazis' top researchers following the events of the first game, having sold to them the secrets to the zombie serum. Amongst the technological developments he helps create include the Haunebu, the flying saucer he uses to fight Vinnie.
  • Take That!: Plenty of parodies of famous lines abounds in the first game.
    Vinnie: "Join the mafia! Meet interesting people! Then whack them!"
    Vinnie killing something with fire: "I love the smell of burnt zombies in the morning."
    • One of Vinnie's various kill streak quotes definitely pokes fun at recent political events.
      Vinnie: "I'm making America great again!"
    • Sometimes Vinnie kills German soldiers with some condescending banter.
      Vinnie: "I bet you did NAZI that coming! Heh-heh..."
      Vinnie: "Whoa! Easy there, Fritz, you might hurt yourself!"
  • Tank Goodness: Joe Barista, who betrays Vinnie to the Nazis, has a Tiger tank hidden in his mountain villa. Too bad for Joe it gets trashed courtesy of the conveniently located heavy flak cannon and supply drops from the US Army!
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: The Dark Don somehow smuggles zombie poison from Thugtown to Germany via U-boat. The fact that the US Navy and the Coast Guard haven't actually detected the U-boat so close to American shores is quite disturbing, and even worse, the US Army soldiers guarding Thugtown don't seem to notice that lots of gangsters have gone into and out of the city prior to Vinnie shooting up their headquarters in the quarantine zone. The soldiers on the search-light machine gun turrets are a different story, as they cannot be shot.
    American soldier: "Hey you! YEAH! YOU! STOP! This is a restricted area! If you come any closer, you will be fired upon! I repeat! YOU WILL BE SHOT AT!! GO BACK! RIGHT NOW!"
    • Even sillier on the other side of the war, the Wehrmacht somehow doesn't manage to catch Vinnie after he shoots his way through Normandy, a missile base, and a mobster villa. Vinnie also stole a car and drove his way to the Dark Don's secret base in the Bavarian Mountains without getting stopped at German checkpoints. After the majority of the events, one would think that the Nazis would have lots of wanted posters of Vinnie plastered everywhere after he'd killed off the German commander in Normandy, since he is a gangster, not a soldier.
  • The Immune: Vinnie is immune to the zombie poison; Frankie wants to grind him into paste in the sequel to monopolize the cure.
  • The Many Deaths of You: The least horrific way to die in the games is to get shot (or beaten by human enemies) and ragdoll.
    • Burn to death with a horrid little squeal when set on fire (in the sequel, run around with your head on fire).
    • Melt into a puddle of slop from acid or poison gas.
    • Get electrocuted and be reduced to a pile of bones.
    • Fall off a roof to your doom.
    • Get Eaten Alive by a horde of zombies (or Rodents of Unusual Size).
    Vinnie: "Stop trying to bite me, you freaking lunatics!"
    • Get shredded by sharp fans or blown to bits by explosives.
  • There Is No Kill like Overkill: Vinnie is quite willing to use a commandeered flak cannon to blow a villa's front door open (or even more cruelly, he can fire the cannon at enemies who man a machine gun position on the balcony above the entrance and reduce them to giblets). Vinnie uses a flak cannon to get back at his old associate Joe for betraying him to the Dark Don by luring him to Europe.
  • The War Sequence: Vinnie (a gangster) storming Omaha Beach on his own and winning in the sequel.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Given that the second game is set during World War II, the Nazis end up making an appearance and serve as one of the main antagonists, being the main financial and military backer of the mysterious Dark Don. And given the theme of the game, they're depicted in every single German and Nazi stereotype present, thick German accents and all.
  • Time Bomb: The sequel has some Hold the Line style missions where you have to hold off a horde of enemies while waiting for dynamite (wired with insanely long fuses) to blow open a door for you.
  • Treachery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Never a nice guy to begin with, Vinnie always has something for those who betrayed him.
    • After being betrayed by Frankie, Vinnie tore his way through a whole city full of zombies, gangsters and soldiers to get even, which he got by throwing him out of the airship he intends to escape Thugtown with. When Frankie somehow survived, Vinnie made sure he stayed dead in the sequel by throwing him into his own giant meat grinder.
    • When Vinnie found out his old associate Joe Barista had betrayed him and had sent him to Thugtown and later lured him to Europe for the Dark Don, Vinnie got even with him by storming his villa, mortally wounding him in their battle, and then executing him with an 88mm Flak cannon.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Frankie somehow survives falling from an airship into a city full of poison gas with no explanation. Word Of God says that he grabbed onto the blimp's anchor and was able to jump to safety when it passed a tall building, and survived by scavenging gas masks from dead soldiers.
  • Universal Driver's License: Lampshaded when Frankie insists he's too valuable to kill because of his expertise in piloting airships. Vinnie however didn't care for it.
    Frankie: "Vinnie, please... you can't kill me! I'm the only one who can fly this thing. You NEED me!"
    Vinnie: "I'll read the freaking manual! Now let's see if you can fly without the blimp!"
    Frankie: "No! NO! AAAAH!!"
    • The sequel shows that Vinnie barely knows anything about UFO flight, but once he learns, he can fly halfway around the world.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Vinnie can't salvage any ammunition from the guns wielded by zombies. Snub-nosed revolvers wielded by hostile gangsters are also unusable.
    • In the sequel, Vinnie cannot pick up rifles used by American or German soldiers. And while he can use tripod-mounted machine guns, he can't steal them out of their positions. Oddly enough, the game allows Vinnie to hijack mortars, even though there is no usability prompt.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Vinnie's "shoot first, ask questions later" tactics and general hostility is pretty easy to take advantage of, but once he finds out whomever exploited him, not even an army can stop Vinnie from getting even.
  • Vehicular Turnabout:
    • During his boss battle, Commander Wienerschnitzel captures and then uses the ball turret of Joe Barista's B-17 against Vinnie during the former's attempt to either capture or kill him. Initially armed with machine guns, after Vinnie sufficiently damages the turret, Wienerschnitzel has it jury-rigged with a Nebelwerfer that fires guided missiles.
    • Vinnie captures and flies a Haunebu airship after killing Frankie/The Dark Don for good, using the German airship to fly back to the United States.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Frankie, in both games. As befitting his cowardly nature, he begs Vinnie to spare his life after the final battle. Both times,Vinnie doesn't show any mercy and wisely throws him to his doom (which is an actual death the second time around).
    Frankie: "Ah, Vinnie, don't hurt me! It was just a joke, you know, heh-heh..."
    Vinnie: "Yeah, freaking hysterical. You know what else is funny? YOU, screaming like a little girl, on the way DOWN!!" (grabs Frankie in order to throw him to his death)
    Frankie: "No! NO!! AAAAAAAH!!!"
  • War Comes Home: As Vinnie finds out during the sequel, thanks to the Dark Don, the Nazis have been secretly operating on US soil. They achieved this by having set up a large spy network in the mainland United States via the Thugtown Quarantine Zone and the Dark Don's syndicate. They've even set up an impromptu U-boat base in the city's ports.
  • Wham Shot: As Vinnie ventures deeper into the Thugtown Quarantine Zone in 2, he finds out that there are German soldiers and officers in full battle gear operating on US soil. Not only that, but the same Mafia goons that he's been encountering are in cahoots with them, and part of the mysterious Dark Don Syndicate.
  • Weapon Specialization: Vinnie appears to prefer the M1921 Tommy gun as his weapon of choice, although he also has a soft spot for the shotgun in the sequel as well. During the boss fight against the German Commander, however, Vinnie is shown brandishing a captured Sturmgewehr.
  • Weird Historical War: The Sequel Escalation involves Vinnie taking on the Nazis, who try to create zombie troops as a Wunderwaffe. On their own soil. Do we even have to mention he wrecks a V-2 missile base by himself? And that he forms an Enemy Mine with the very same US Army that tried to have him killed before?
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Rusty, a side character from the first game, was never seen again after giving Vinnie information about the Bonnino Gang. The sequel shows he survived because the US Army killed most of the zombies, allowing Rusty to get to his boat at the docks. Rusty left a note for Vinnie on the wall of his shop, saying he'd wait for him until dawn, and after that just leave.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Enemies killed by headshots will have their heads exploded.
    Vinnie: "People always lose their heads when they meet me!"
  • Zombie Apocalypse: A local variation, with the effects of the outbreak contained to one city.
    • The sequel shows that the Nazis or more accurately, Frankie and his goons plan to inflict this on the entire world.


 
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Baelz Defeats Mickey

Guns, Gore, and Cannoli features giant rats as enemies in the sewer area, the boss of which is implied to be the first rat that got exposed to the zombie-making poison that kicked off the game's plot. This giant rat, "Mickey", is a tough, agile, and deadly opponent for even a hardened gangster like Vinnie Cannoli. Here, Hakos Baelz of Hololive English, ironically a rat-girl herself, emerges triumphant after a long, grueling fight with the game's toughest boss yet.

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5 (4 votes)

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Main / RodentsOfUnusualSize

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