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Video Game / Jets'n'Guns

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Jets'n'Guns (also called Jets N Guns or JnG) is a Horizontal Scrolling Shooter created by RakeinGrass, released in 2004 for Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh, with a Nintendo Switch port released on December 16, 2019.

It's 20 Minutes into the Future, and it's quite used. You are an ex-military space pilot taking mercenary contracts to make a living, when all of a sudden your former commanding officer, Colonel Troubleman, calls you up for immediate re-enlistment with the United Space Hero Force (U.S.H.F.) to hunt down and kill the evil dictator, Xoxx. Xoxx has captured Professor von Hamburger, the man behind the construction of a massive quantum cannon out in space. The professor's original intent was to use the cannon for peaceful purposes, but Xoxx obviously had other ideas and captured him, forcing von Hamburger to finish the cannon so that Xoxx can fire it and destroy the universe as we know it.

You and the crew of the space cruiser USS Impotence travel across the galaxy in search of clues that can hopefully lead you to the cannon and, ultimately, Xoxx.

You start off with a few credits and a small ship with only a basic gun equipped. In every mission, you gain points and credits from killing enemies. Certain missions also contain checkpoints that, once reached, allows you to resume from that part of the mission, with your ship in the state it was in when you reach that checkpoint, until you abort the mission completely. At the end of every mission, you can spend whatever credits you have on purchasing and/or upgrading equipment, guns, and additional weaponry such as missiles and bombs.

RiG originally made JnG as a sort of memoir to the scrolling shooters of old. Word of God as per The Other Wiki is that they were also inspired by other scrolling shooters like Tyrian, ProjectX and Walker. It is considered by many who have played it to be one of the best modern indie scrolling shooters in the market. In the few years following the game's release, it won several awards from organisations that nobody knows about, but are still awards.

The game is also notable for its incredible original soundtrack by Machinae Supremacy.

In December 2006, RiG released an expansion, called Jets'n'Guns Gold, which has since replaced the original Jets'n'Guns in every regard. Gold featured additional ships, missions, weapons, an expanded storyline and even a reworked ending.

After a long period of Development Hell, a sequel, Jets'n'Guns 2, was released on Steam on July 24, 2020.

The official web page for the game is located here, with its sequel having a separate page here.

Jets'n'Guns provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Several weapons fall under this category, firing projectiles ranging from less common but still somewhat unusual things like acid and chemical gas to things like tomatoes, superheroes, semi-intelligent ghosts and miniature temporary universes.
  • Ascended Glitch: Two in-universe examples. The history of the Hexagun and Demijohn reek of Epic Fail, with the former originally meant to facilitate chess games by shrinking people down to the size of the chess tokens (it vaporised them instead), and the latter originally meant to be a forward-firing plasma gun (that, due to a design flaw, not only fired forwards, but backwards through itself and the ship that was mounting it). In both cases, instead of fixing the faults, the guns were remade around them (the Hexagun was marketed as a weapon, and the Demijohn was retooled into a disposable missile with an additional hole at the back), and these flaws were what ended up setting these two weapons apart from most of the others. It is also worth noting that these two weapons are two of the most powerful and useful in the game.
  • Apocalypse How: Xoxx wants to achieve Physical Annihilation on a Universal scale. He succeeds.
  • Attack Drone: These come in both airborne varieties that float near your ship, and spider-legged ground ones.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: There are a number of extremely powerful guns that you can buy that can easily overwhelm enemies as easily as they can overheat your ship's cooling system.
  • Back from the Dead: The Jet-Pack Rescue System turns your character into this. When your hull integrity reaches 0, your ship will blow up, but lo and behold as you watch your hull integrity suddenly shoot back up to 100, and you emerge from the explosion flying on an ejector seat with an Emergency Weapon in the form of a small gun. Not as useful as it sounds, given that anything strong enough to destroy your ship is likely to destroy the enhanced Jet-Pack too, but it can speed things up by saving you a trip back to the previous checkpoint or the start of the mission, especially if your ship was destroyed near the end.
  • Badass Boast: The description of the S.T.Y.X.. Sort of.
    "The gun was developed for disinfestation of space stations and parts overrun by cosmic glow-worms. The bugs became immune after a few weeks of the cleaning campaign, but humanoids are still quite sensitive. Just try and see."
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In the original JnG, Xoxx fires the Lord Chaos Mk.I quantum cannon and destroys the universe. You blow up his vessel, but he escapes in his backup time washing machine to the past where he will enslave the world. You somehow survive the destruction of the universe and are left wandering the remains of it until you accidentally get sucked into a time warp and end up at...the start of the game, this time with everything you bought.
    • In Gold, you find yourself flying past a restaurant. You enter and meet an old man who tells you about not thinking four-dimensionally. That inspires you to upgrade your ship and enable it to travel time, giving you another chance to chase after Xoxx and ultimately destroy him.
  • Beam Spam: The VX-Quattro. At the maximum upgrade level, this gun fires four lasers simultaneously and continuously at seizure-inducing speeds.
  • BFG: The Kaiser Franz 650, which can be mounted on fighters despite being made for battleships. Even the projectile it fires looks physically huge coming from your ship.
  • Big Bad: Xoxx, although this is only mentioned and maintained till the end of the game after the first few missions.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: One mission involves flying (and shooting) through a nest of spaceship-sized bugs.
  • Bonus Level: There are many bonus missions scattered throughout the game.
  • Boring, but Practical: One of your starting weapons is the Daisycutter. Its Mk.II variant in the original game, when fully upgraded, turned into a Spread Shot that had a fire arc rivalled only by the best weapons in the game. This means that it usually remained as a staple on the player's loadouts long after its damage output is eclipsed. The Daisycutter in Gold is the Mk.III variant which can be upgraded further, resulting in less spread but a much more powerful forward shot, making it a cost-effective mid-end weapon.
  • Boss Arena Recovery: Lord Krutor drops a hull integrity bonus once you destroy enough guns on his ship.
  • Boss Subtitles: There are three of them; the latter two are unique to one boss each in Gold.
  • Bottomless Magazines: All missiles, bombs and cartridge-based weapons exhibit this. Especially missiles.
  • Breakout Mook Character:
    • One mook that appears several times over the course of the campaign is a medium-sized airship. This same vessel is also related to the L.E.D. Zeppelin, which is available as a player ship once a specific enemy airship is damaged, and then hacked into with the RemCon, in a secret level.
    • Completing the campaign twice unlocks the Coffinator 5000B as an available player ship. Besides retaining the same distinctive shape as the Wake-Up Call Boss, it is the only player ship that can mount 3 rear guns, and it has the strongest hull, befitting its original design as a boss class enemy, while having a level of maneuverability only slightly worse than the TMiG-310. At 5 million credits, it is also the most expensive player ship that can be bought.
    • The SpaceHog, a smaller version of the ship used by Agent Lemon's captor, is available as a player ship after completing the campaign thrice. It downplays this trope due to the increased number of completed campaign runs required to unlock it as well as a complete lack of Flavor Text. In terms of performance, it can carry the same number of weapons as the TMiG-310 but is otherwise superior in all other respects barring its larger size and higher purchase cost.
  • Brick Joke: In the early-game, when the U.S.H.F. breaks into the FeX Labs to steal the TMiG-226, it is mentioned that, a few days earlier, an incredibly powerful vessel had broken into the compound and turned the place inside-out before vanishing without a trace, significantly weakening the defences of the FeX Labs and giving the U.S.H.F. the window of opportunity they needed to steal the TMiG-226. Mid-game, you find out who was responsible for the initial intrusion: yourself. Through an unstable time warp, you were sent to that point in the past and had no choice but to blast your way through the FeX Labs in order to return to the present time.
  • Bullet Hell: While played straight at some points, it typically inverts the trope- not only do you have a health bar but after enough upgrades, you will be the one spewing an endless supply of screen-covering ammunition.
    • One common complaint about this system compared to must bullet hell games, however, was that the ship's hitbox is the size of the entire ship- most games of the genre have a much smaller hitbox than the actual character. This can throw off new players accustomed to most games in the genre.
  • Cognizant Limbs: Anything bigger than a small ship have destructable pieces. This especially applies to bosses and buildings.
  • Cores-and-Turrets Boss: The Supercomputer Core, and Xoxx's Backup Time Washing Machine
  • Creator Cameo: One mission has the player gatecrashing a Machinae Supremacy concert.
  • Deflector Shields: The Power Shield. Careful, successive hits cause a massive heat spike.
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: Gleefully averted. Not only are there weapons specifically for diagonal attacks, the Rotary Cage add-on allows you to change the firing angle of your normally forward-facing guns to shoot diagonally.
  • Description Porn: Everything that's sold in the shop, with the sole exception being the SpaceHog. This basically means every gun, missile and bomb, as well as every other ship you can buy, including Secret Characters.
  • Disintegrator Ray: The Vulcan Disintegrator. The Hexagun falls under this as well if its Ascended Glitch history is taken into account.
  • Diesel Punk: Much of the technology that isn't futuristic enough for lasers and rayguns appears to take heavy influence from World War II era tech. Many of the lower-class enemies share heavy design cues with WWII fighter and interceptor planes, just with enough tubes and rivets retrofitted to make them 'fit' for space travel, including the TMiG-226 and -310 player ships that show up in all the game's promotional art.
  • The Dragon: There is a certain vessel in the game called the Dragon by Word of God. While it doubles up as an Elite Mook as you see several of these vessels throughout the game, it also shows up just before you confront Xoxx at the Lord Chaos Mk.I quantum cannon.
  • Ejection Seat: The Jetpack Rescue System is essentially an armed version of this, where if your ship blows up your character continues in a tiny jetpack armed with an even tinier peashooter.
  • The End... Or Is It?: In Gold, the credits roll as your ship wanders the remains of the universe after you confront Xoxx at the Lord Chaos Mk.I quantum cannon. As the credits finish, you fly past a restaurant, and discover a way back in time.
  • Energy Weapon: Starting off with the VX-Masterblaster Laser, and then adding Beam Spam with the VX-Quattro.
  • Escort Mission:
    • The only example of this in the original game, as well as the first such mission in Gold, has you tow a fighter frame out of the FeX Labs; you fail the mission if the frame is destroyed by enemy fire and/or collision with the terrain.
    • Gold includes an updated version of the above mission, where you must now use a weaponised jetpack, rather than your ship, to conduct the heist, and adds two more escort missions. The first of these is a subversion as the research vessels you are escorting are immune to enemy fire and collisions; the second one involves an object resembling a giant beer keg that takes up the height of your field of view and plays this trope straight.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: The final boss fight of Gold takes place in time.
  • Flavor Text: The description for the Tomator Deluxe provides the trope image and describes how the gun was made and the mark it left in history without actually explaining how the gun works in-game. While most of the Description Porn in the game is similar, some of these flavor texts do point out certain unique properties of the item they describe that are relevant to actual gameplay.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Crocker Cr-2 in Gold. Its deficiencies in terms of its small heat sink and fairly subtle hull are noted on its purchase screen, and its description even provides advice on how to avoid overheating. It is, however, one of the more agile and faster ships in the game.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Apart from U.S.H.F., there's also the L.E.D. (Large Enemy Device) Zeppelin and Z.W.A.T. (Zogrim Weapons And Tactics).
  • Gatling Good:
    • Starts with the Daisycutter as an entry-level weapon, which leads into heavier rotary guns like the Hammerhead, further leading to the Hydra Machine Gun, which is seven Gatling guns bolted together.
    • Gatling guns are the weapon of choice for several enemies and bosses.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Most of the bosses are like this. The player only knows about them when they see the boss-class warning appear on their screen.
  • Gimmick Level:
    • Done twice in the original game with an Escort Mission as well as a "research mission" where you need to collect weapon parts throughout a level to obtain the Chroniton Riffle. Gold adds in two more escort missions and one more research mission.
    • Gold features several plot-driven missions that restrict you to using a certain ship or forces you into a weaponised environment suit, such as partaking in an obstacle course with a unique, dinky ship that cannot be purchased, or piloting a cargo ship to Outrun the Fireball.
  • Gradual Regeneration: The Nanomachines repair your ship's hull integrity, but only if your heat sink stays at 0 for a few seconds. In addition, they only heal you up to 50% of max health unless they are upgraded to Level 2 or beyond. Significantly buffed in the sequel, where it provides constant flat hull regen with no cap.
  • Harder Than Hard: The highest difficulty setting that the player can set a campaign to at the very beginning is "Hard". However, upon completion of the game on "Hard" difficulty, the New Game Plus starts on the next difficulty level, "Nightmare". This cycle goes on, from "Total Mayhem", then "Inhuman", right up to "Mission Impossible".
  • Harpoon Gun: The Kraken 2000 Harpooner.
  • Hacking Minigame: Crates can only be unlocked by hacking them by playing a little minigame. The first game has you play Mastermind, while the second has you play Snake.
  • Heroic BSoD: After the universe is destroyed, the player character does this by attempting to get drunk in a restaurant that he flies past.
  • Humongous Mecha: Alpha Gigantor is massive, and you only get to see its feet and dismembered head.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: There does not appear to be an inventory cap on your ship. In addition, the Weapon Set Switcher allows you to switch between up to five gun configurations in-mission. That means you can cram multiple full loadouts on your ship even if said ship is just a weaponised environment suit.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: The Easy difficulty setting for the Gold Edition is called "Too Fat To Die". The Harder Than Hard difficulties also have idiosyncratic names.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The TMiG-310 Atomic Emu has incredible stats and a mind-blowing number of weapon slots, including up to five forward mounted weapons. It's only available once you complete the game, but you'll need it for those higher difficulties.
  • Jack of All Stats: The TMiG-226 Koala Killer is this in Gold, with slightly less agility at stock compared to a fully upgraded G-3 Goblin, but featuring at least one slot for every equipment. Once fully upgraded, it has more agility than the L.E.D. Zeppelin but is not as durable, and it is slightly smaller than the TMiG-310 Atomic Emu but has slightly fewer equipment and weapon slots as well as being a little less agile and durable.
  • Joke Item: The Punisher, which is a baseball bat that you can get by shooting down a flying toilet somewhere near the end of the game. It is one of the most powerful weapons in the game and makes you 37.182% cooler when you have it equipped, but it is hardly worth using because of its ridiculously short range.
  • Karl Marx Hates Your Guts: Averted. Anything purchased from the shop can be sold back at full value, so you're free to mess around with various weapon and upgrade combinations in between missions.
  • Kill It with Fire: The F-8000 Cremator, essentially a space flamethrower.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: The use of weapons that fire cartridge ammunition is an official game tip for players who experience overheating issues, which is typically caused by using too many weapons that fire special ammunition.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The Tomator Deluxe. Mounting it on your ship will make you an Improbable Weapon User, but if you upgrade it, you may be surprised at how its relatively high fire rate offsets its sub-par damage rate per shot.
  • Limit Break: 2 adds devices which use up your collected Antimatter to activate a powerful effect.
  • Made of Explodium: Your ship, once its hull integrity reaches 0. And pretty much everything else.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Professor Von Hamburger's daughter, Erecta, accompanies you, growing increasingly frustrated with the slow progress of the team's investigation.
  • Mega-Microbes: You battle your way through an entire colony of these things.
  • Mighty Glacier: The L.E.D. Zeppelin in Gold. It has the same heat sink as the TMiG-310 Atomic Emu, allowing it to comfortably mount and fire several BFGs at once. However, it moves like a potato.
  • Mind-Control Device:
    • The RemCon can be used on hostile RoboTrucks and rockets, causing them to work for you rather than being obstacles to avoid.
    • Gold adds the radio tower on Planet Plop and a videotape, with the latter as a plot device. The radio tower is further described in the The Paralyzer entry further down this article. The broadcast of the videotape causes anyone watching it to go mental. Xoxx has his eyes on this tape because he intends to perform a mass broadcast of it, using the mental energy expelled from the viewers, as a direct result of watching the videotape, to power the Lord Chaos Mk.I quantum cannon.
  • Minigame: In 2, other than the Hacking Minigame of Snake you play to unlock crates, your Atarix 2000 hacking device comes with a copy of Mortal Tetrix, which is Tetris with fighting game inputs for each piece type that removes or shifts blocks in some way.
  • Money Spider: Shooting down enemies earns you cash, but sometimes blowing up an enemy has them drop some gold, which you can pick up for instant extra cash.
  • More Dakka: In spades. Many of the guns that you can mount on your craft have ridiculously high fire rates.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • When your game has a Big Bad who is a dictator called Xoxx, you know This Is Gonna Suck.
    • On the side of the Big Good, we have Colonel Troubleman, who stops troubles.
    • Among the various armor types seen in the game, there is only one that cannot be destroyed by the player's weapons in any way. It's called Hulk Panzer.
    • One section of the FeX Labs features a gigantic gun named The Dictator Quantum Devastator, with an additional warning under its name plate that states "Do not touch under any circumstances!". Turning it on reveals that it is actually a Wave-Motion Gun that fires a beam so powerful, it effortlessly pulverises five layers of Hulk Panzer and one-shots your ship regardless of your equipment if you are hit by it.
  • New Game Plus: Each time you beat the game, you start over on the next difficulty level with everything you have accumulated so far. While this is relatively pointless in the original unless you're pursuing bragging rights, replaying the Gold Edition on the same pilot up to five times is necessary in order to unlock all the extra super-weapons and ships. The second game throws harder enemies and more obstacles at you each time, up to 10 times.
  • Nintendo Hard: Several levels throughout the game feature a mix of Bullet Hell, Trial-and-Error Gameplay and Checkpoint Starvation, although never all of these at once. The later missions also feature enemies that can dish out a lot of damage by either firing hitscan lasers or moving fast enough to ram you.
  • No "Arc" in "Archery": Averted with the Tomator Deluxe and Plop Fragmentation Gun.
  • No Ending: The original game was this, with New Game Plus slapped onto it. Although the expanded campaign in Gold ends with the player killing Xoxx, the game still loops back to the very beginning, implying that there is no such thing as Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory and the player character lost his memory of the game's story.
  • No Fair Cheating: Typing in a cheat code just once during the game will earn you a nice red ! CHEATER ! in your Federal Hero License below the current difficulty setting, and it will remain there forever for that particular game.
    • However a bug may also brand this upon that profile if you resume play from a checkpoint.
  • No Federal Hero Discount: You're out to save the universe from the evil plan of an Omnicidal Maniac, so naturally you have to foot the cost for your ship, weapons, and equipment.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: The sequel has no plot beyond the bit of briefing you get to read for each level.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Your character has this moment when they figure out the Brick Joke surrounding the mysterious entity that trashed the FeX Labs, and what it means for them.
    • They also react accordingly after severely damaging a supercomputer in the Abacus-I Artificial Asteroid, causing the environment to start glitching out with Matrix Raining Code.
  • One-Man Army:
    • The player does all their missions solo; said missions often involve blowing the crap out of enemies occupying an entire star system or planet.
    • The TMiG-226 was designed to take on an entire army on its own, without any assistance whatsoever, with the TMiG-310 expanding on the 226's design. True to this, with both ships fully upgraded, you'll probably have enough firepower to wipe the whole screen clean.
    • The Impotence is capable of an artillery barrage of ion torpedoes that can clear out the entire screen. Near the end of the campaign, it also draws away the bulk of Xoxx's forces while the player sneaks into the compound where the quantum cannon is located.
  • Orbiting Particle Shield: The Circulous add-on, which can be upgraded to a maximum to four orbiting particles.
  • Overclocking Attack: The RemCon can be used to overheat (i.e. violently explode) some enemy missile launchers.
  • Overheating: One of the primary mechanics of the game, important enough that it has its own meter. Fire your weapons continuously for too long and your ship's cooling system will shut down to cool off, preventing you from firing until the cooling system reactivates.
  • The Paralyzer: The RemCon is used to "Jesterize" the Dragon, causing it to don a Happy Harlequin Hat, drop a huge credit bonus and stop firing on you, turning it into a sitting duck for you to destroy. The RemCon is also used in Gold to switch on a radio tower, causing all Mooks within range to drop their weapons and dance on the spot, allowing you to kill them without any resistance.
  • Power Levels: Each weapon in the game has a bar of skulls that represent the amount of damage it does per shot. A weapon with no skulls does almost no damage, whereas a weapon with seven skulls (the maximum) does the most amount of damage. Keep in mind, however, that the overall usefulness of a weapon is subjective, and may also be influenced by its other "power levels" for heat generation and refire rate.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: The Boomerang Blaster.
  • Quad Damage: Comes in the form of a silver fist-shaped powerup that grants a Battle Aura and causes each bullet you fire to do four times the damage for twenty seconds. Combine with More Dakka for maximum satisfaction. It also stacks with itself.
  • Ramming Always Works: The Banzai Rammer. Also, as a rule of thumb, if something is extremely small, not meant to do damage on impact and can be shot down, you can ram it to smithereens with your own ship. There are absolutely no exceptions to this, not even when killing Xoxx.
  • Ray Gun: Starting with the Pulse Gun available at the start of the game, and then adding quite a few more over the course of it, such as the Tectonic Laser and Skywalker Hypergun.
  • Real-Time Weapon Change: The Weapon Set Switcher allows you to instantly switch between different loadouts during a mission by pressing the corresponding number key that matches the set number. Without it, you'll need to pause the game and manually swap out each weapon. Upgrades to the Weapon Set Switcher allow you to save more loadouts.
  • Recurring Boss: The first variant. Crtex flees when you deal sufficient damage to him the first time. Near the end of the game, he returns with upgraded weapons.
  • Recursive Ammo: The Banjo missile plays this trope straight and true, but the projectiles generated by the CHAOS Particle Generator take this up to eleven, with each individual projectile cloning itself upon hitting something, and the clones cloning themselves upon impact, and the cycle repeating itself again, and again, and again...
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: The Machinae Supremacy concert has one of the players smacking his guitar on the stage.
  • Secret Character: The L.E.D. Zeppelin and Airworm Hypercopter, requiring the player to hack or destroy specific devices in order to obtain. There are also several hidden weapons (ranging from the Punisher to the Omnigun) scattered throughout the game.
  • Shock and Awe: The Charge Generator, ElectroBall, and TESLA Devastator come into mind.
  • Shout-Out: There are enough shout outs in JnG to warrant a separate article.
  • Shows Damage: Your ship starts emitting smoke once its hull integrity drops below 30%.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The ending theme is something upbeat and triumphant, reminiscent to "We Are The Champions" by Queen, however it plays over you being the Sole Survivor after Xoxx successfully destroyed the universe.
  • Space Is Noisy: Oh yes it is.
  • Spread Shot: Starting off with the Pink Panther and then diversifying from there.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Check.
  • Swirly Energy Thingy: The Time Portal that dumps you in the FeX labs. In the original game, said Swirly Energy Thingy also dumps you back to the beginning for the New Game Plus.
  • A Taste of Power: A feature exclusive to Gold is the addition of a few weapons labelled as "Trial Versions" of more powerful weapons. These special weapons are located at the start of certain missions where they, upon your first visit, are far stronger than any weapon you can possibly afford, despite their description claiming that they are only a basic version of the real thing. The catch? These guns will expire after a limited number of shots, and you cannot sell them for any extra credits.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • A handful of weapons from the original game are supplemented, not replaced, with upgraded counterparts in Gold, the most prominent example being the La Fontaine. It is the cheapest and weakest gun you can buy, and even with full upgrades, it has subpar range and damage. Even the first three words in its promotional description says it: "Cheap toy gun". In Gold, the La Fontaine Mk.II is made available for purchase towards the last few missions, which costs 4,100,000 credits for the base model and is one of the strongest and most expensive guns in the game. Other guns that received this treatment include the VX-Masterblaster Laser (supplemented with the VX-Quattro) and Tsunami Wave Generator (supplemented with the Tsunami BETA).
    • In an overlap with Boring, but Practical, the Daisycutter Mk.II in the original game was a decent early-game machine gun with an equally decent area of fire when fully upgraded but cannot match up to the damage rate of any of the late-game guns. In Gold, it is directly replaced with the Daisycutter Mk.III, which can be further upgraded to do damage equal to some of the more powerful guns in the game, albeit with a reduced area of fire compared to its fully upgraded Mk.II version.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: In 2, Quantum Base starts getting swallowed up by a nearby black hole as you progress through the stage. At the end, you get sucked in, and then get sent to... virtual space?
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • There are so many ways to deliver the hurt in this game. Ships that you shoot out from the sky will fall towards the ground and crush everything below them. Radioactive waste and fire will melt any unprotected person foolish enough to wander near the source. Shockwaves generated by the Cauldron bomb, beer tankers, or even the ground collision protection device that you can install on your ship, will rip through everything within their effective radius. If you leave blood and gore enabled in this game, expect every living organism you destroy to spew blood or green ooze, in the case of zombies in Gold, from every orifice, or otherwise be blown to bits, regardless of whether you pulverise them with a Wave-Motion Gun, or fly into them. There's even a secret mission in Gold where you get to mow down an entire army of poorly-armed spammers. And then we have some weapons that were made for this trope...
      "This terrible gadget was designed especially for use against living beings."
      — Description of the Acid Gun
    • With the Carnage TV Transmission Set, you get instant cash for killing enemy troops in large numbers at once, among other unarmored humanoids; the more killed at once, the more money you get.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Flame and gas weapons work exactly the same underwater as they do above water.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The first boss in the game, the Coffinator, isn't very difficult, but only if you've been keeping the hull integrity of your ship in check.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The Chroniton Riffle in the original. Gold adds the Armageddonator.
  • With This Herring: We want you to save the universe from destruction! Here's an entry-level ship and a bit of pocket money.
  • Vulgar Humor: The original had the subtitle "CADDISH UNFAIR ATTACK OF XOXX'S STELLAR BASTARDS" printed right below the title on the front cover, and the game featured a teddy bear item that bleated "Blast those bloody bastards!" when pressed. Countries that do take offence to the vulgarities censor them by replacing all instances of the first with "MANIACS" and all instances of the second with "gangsters". Gold removes the subtitle but leaves the teddy bear intact.
  • Zerg Rush: The Swarm gun is essentially based on this trope, firing small bots with weak drills that are capable of Death of a Thousand Cuts. Its upgrades mainly make it fire more bots per shot rather than increasing the damage done by each bot.