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Video Game / Hulk

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Hulk is a 2003 video game developed by Radical Entertainment and published by Universal Interactive, based on the movie of the same name and year. The game takes place after the story of the movie.

Tropes featured:

  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: One of the early stages takes place in one.
  • Aborted Arc: After rescuing Betty, she tells Hulk that she's been infected with his energy as her eyes turn green. The next cutscene shows Betty to be more concerned with Bruce retrieving the Gamma Orb than her own condition, and we never see her again after that, so no one really knows whether or not Betty would've become this universe's She-Hulk.
  • All Just a Dream: The tutorial level for Hulk.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: Owing up to the different medium, and despite using one of the promotional posters as a base for the cover art, the game uses entirely different shading combined with brighter colors and a more animated aesthetic to make it feel more like the comics the movie was based off rather than trying to perfectly replicate the movie's live-action style itself.
  • Artificial Brilliance: A largely-overlooked component of this game: More than a few of the enemy types are capable of recognizing whenever you're spamming an attack (expecially a Charged Attack such as the aerial ground stomp) and will either move out of the way or just flat out attack you before you can finish the move. They'll also try to knock you down if they see you trying to use too many environmental pickups.
  • Attack Reflector: The Hulk can deflect incoming missiles by punching them!
  • Blown Across the Room:
    • Naturally, many of The Hulk's attacks tend to do this to most of his adversaries.
    • Explosives and certain boss attacks are capable of doing this to you as well.
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy: Flux's battle takes place in a Gamma shield generator room, summoned by General Ryker to stop Hulk at all costs. The same generator room where you can trick him into destroying the generator's defense barrier using his own grenades and even toss Flux himself into the generator once its shields go down for insane damage.
  • Death Touch: There's a Cheat Code that gives you this ability, to the point that you can one-shot bosses!
  • Distant Finale: The game takes place eight years after the events of the film.
  • Elaborate Underground Base/Island Base/The Alcatraz: Three tropes, one base: New Freehold. And all three are played straighter than an arrow.
  • Exploding Barrel: Lots of them are scattered, and they can be picked up and thrown.
  • False Friend: Dr. Crawford, early on.
  • Five-Man Band/Standard Evil Empire Hierarchy: The Leader's inner circle counts as both
  • Flunky Boss: Madman loves sending mooks after you during your first encounter with him, and Ravage will summon Gamma Soldiers to back him up once he Turns Red.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Pretty much all of the Hulk-based levels involve him knocking his foes out of the way in order to reach something, most notably the mission involving him chasing down Ravage and the mission involving the rescue of Betty Ross from the clutches of Madman.
    • For a more literal and somewhat Punny example, the game has a move where you perform a short charge that will knock (almost) anyone out of your way.
  • Friendly Fire: While the enemies always focus their attacks on you, they're still capable of damaging each other. Hilarity often ensues when this happens.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • The same type of energy shield that usually just stuns Hulk in the game outright knocks him unconscious in one of the cutscenes.
    • In the cutscenes, he also has his super-jumping ability from the comics, but he can't do it in-game. This was a surprisingly major complaint about the game back when it was new.
    • He takes damage from bullets in-game, even though they have absolutely no effect against him in the cutscenes. (or anywhere else, really)note 
    • Regardless of how much time you spend fighting enemies during the mission where you're chasing down Ravage, the in-game cutscenes will always place you just behind him.
      • Same applies to the mission where the underground Alcatraz base is collapsing, and Madman fights you at the end. No matter how much time you spend fighting him, the base will not collapse during the battle.
  • Healing Factor: Whenever Hulk takes damage, a red bar will appear in place of the damage inflicted, similar to the recovering health bar in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. Hulk can slowly recover some health from it, though there is a cheat you can enter to speed up the healing process.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Many audio cues often get cut off due to how quick the game transitions between in-game cutscenes and gameplay. Special mention goes to the Game Over theme, which has an absurdly long roll out that never gets heard due to the game quickly fading to black and into the continue screen as Hulk roars in defeat.
  • Mirror Boss: Ravage. He has most of your moves, is the same speed as you, and (unlike the other bosses) his boss battle is a straight-up fistfight with no gimmicks attached... until the second phase where you have to deal with falling debris and Gamma soldiers pouring in from left and right.
  • Mythology Gag: The ending shows Bruce hitchhiking as a few notes of a Lonely Piano Piece play, referencing The Incredible Hulk (1977).
  • Parrying Bullets: One way to defeat tanks sent to kill the Hulk is to wait for it to fire a cannon shell at you and punch it straight back at the tank.
  • Product Placement: After Bruce awakens from his nightmare at the end of “Inner Torment,” a can of Mountain Dew can be seen on his desk.
  • Recurring Boss: Madman
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: The aforementioned mission where you have to rescue Betty Ross from Madman.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: At least half of the plot of this game was brought about by Dr. Crawford tricking Bruce into giving him The Hulk's energy, and The Hulk chasing him down wherever he goes in order to beat the shit out of him and take it back. In fact, Banner might not have found out about any of the other plot-related events of the game if Dr. Crawford hadn't screwed him over.
  • Sequel Hook: Zigzagged all over the place. While Crawford's and Banner's plotlines have closure (or as much closure as Bruce can get), The Leader is still out there, and one part of the ending has General Ryker performing scans on Flux, claiming to have found "the keys to the gamma kingdom."
  • Shout-Out: The gas station Bruce walks into in "Inner Torment" is called Kirby’s, a reference to Jack Kirby.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Most as Banner. He doesn't have any head-on offensive attacks, and most enemies can quickly wear him down into submission. Since Banner is most likely going to transform into Hulk whenever he's in danger or provoked, the game-over sequence shows him about to turn. But it's a failure anyway, since the mission mandates you into playing as Bruce and not Hulk.
  • Super Mode: Gaining a full Rage meter doubles Hulk's strength, and imputing certain button combinations can let him perform either the Gamma Clap (a concentrated energy clap that can severely damage anyone caught in the blast) or the Gamma Quake (which damages all enemies).
  • Tempting Fate: After infiltrating Alcatraz, Bruce comments that "at least now if I somehow transform, the whole island won’t know I’m here." The very next cutscene has him transform after he realizes Betty is being held hostage.
  • Turns Red: After any boss has lost their first bar of health, they'll gain a Battle Aura which grants them increased damage, speed and additional attacks.
  • Variable Mix: The different stage themes in the game are all segmented, which allows for the game to play specific parts of a song or certain audio cues depending on how intense the action gets.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: During the boss battle where you face Half-Life and Madman again (at the same time), the latter will do this once you beat him, leaving the former to fight alone.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Half-Life. You have to use the environment to harm him since the slightest touch can stun and damage you. Oh, and he can steal your health, too.
  • We Will Meet Again:
    The Leader: "This is not a victory! Today, we both lose!" (cue angry noises followed by an exit via teleportation)
  • What Happened to Betty?
  • What the Hell, Player?: Half-Life will sometimes call you out if you try to attack him directly.
    Half-Life: Don't do that again!
  • You Fight Like a Cow: The unlockable Gray Hulk skin turns the destructive giant from a Heroic Mime to a Deadpan Snarker, even going as far as commenting on all the bosses he faces in the game.