Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Killzone

Go To

"'In and out within a month', they said. 'Their weapons are no match for our military might. Moderate-to-low resistance. Enemy morale at an all-time low.' I guess someone forgot to tell the Helghast."

Killzone is a series of first-person shooters exclusive to the PlayStation consoles, developed by Netherlands-based Guerrilla Games. The series is known for taking classic war movie tropes and visual aesthetics from many of the 20th century's most brutal conflicts (both World Wars, Vietnam, The Gulf War, etc) and reconstructing them, wait for it, In Space.

The first game is set in an era of space colonization where the Helghast Empire has recovered from its humiliating defeat in the First Helghan War, and launched a blitzkrieg against the outer Interplanetary Strategic Alliance (I.S.A.) colony planet Vekta. Vekta's orbital Strategic Defense platforms mysteriously fail during the initial assault, allowing the Helghast to land swarms of soldiers onto the surface, and catching the now outnumbered ISA forces completely by surprise.

The player takes the role of one of four characters: Jan Templar, Shadow Marshall Luger, Rico Velasquez or Gregor Hakha, in an attempt to stop the Helghast from turning Vekta into a conquered province, as well as uncover the plot that threatens to destroy the ISA from within.

Two months after the events of the first game, the Helghast campaign has been dealt a hefty blow by the death of General Joseph Lente and the elimination of the traitor within the ISA's ranks, but the ground war is far from over. The invaders still control large parts of the planet, and the ISA is slowly losing ground. The rules of war have been cast aside with the sadistic Helghast General Armin Metrac, selected personally by Emperor Scolar Visari himself, using brutal measures in order to seize the initiative. Returning as Jan Templar, players are sent on a covert operation to save hostages captured by Metrac, while ISA troops continue the fight for liberty.

Two years after the Helghast invasion is defeated, the ISA launches a massive counter assault on the Helghast's homeworld of Helghan. The ISA's goal is to capture Emperor Visari, and bring the Helghast war machine to a halt once and for all. Templar has been promoted off the battlefield and now commands the expedition. Enter new protagonist Sergeant Tomas "Sev" Sevchenko, a battle-hardened veteran of the special forces unit Alpha Team. Sev leads his unit through hellish battlefields, fighting at times alongside the main ISA force.

Deployed behind enemy lines, and tasked with securing the enemy capital of Pyrrhus (remind you of anything?), the team quickly discovers that the Helghast are a much more formidable when fighting for their homes. Not only have they adjusted to Helghan's hostile conditions, they have also harnessed the power of the freakish lightning storms that ravage the environment. A barren, unforgiving world, Helghan provides a ready defense with thick, acidic air, dust clouds, violent lightning storms and electric spiders. At first, the campaign proceeds smoothly, despite heavy resistance. However, the Helghast only deploy their full strength once the ISA is fully committed to the invasion. Using advanced technology and a surprise assault by the surviving Helghan fleet, the ISA expedition is all but destroyed. Storming Visari's palace with the survivors, series veteran Rico Velasquez executes Visari out of revenge, an action which only leads to the Helghans redoubling their efforts to exterminate the ISA.

Killzone 3 begins exactly where the previous game left off, and is spent following the survivors of the ISA invasion trying to survive long enough to find a way off of the damn planet. Complicating matters, the Helghast are split between two factions following the death of Visari, one of which has no hesitation in using planet killer warheads to attack the ISA's distant founder, Earth. With billions of lives at stake, the ragged survivors fight for a way to return home, and ensure it remains standing.

Killzone: Shadow Fall is set 30 years after the events of Killzone 3. The series returns to planet Vekta, where the Helghast have been given asylum after the catastrophic, but accidental, destruction of Helghan at the end of the ISA's ill fated expedition. The Helghast naturally harbor deep hatred for the ISA for their loss, and a wave of devastating terrorist attacks threatens a new world war. Players will take control of Shadow Marshal Lucas Kellan; tasked in keeping the balance between the Vektans and Helghast, as both ISA and Helgan extremists position their forces to strike.

So far the series includes:

  • Killzone (PS2, 2004; PS3, 2012)
  • Killzone: Liberation (PSP, 2006; PS4/5, 2023)
  • Killzone 2 (PS3, 2009)
  • Killzone 3 (PS3, 2011)
  • Killzone: Mercenary (PS Vita, 2013)
  • Killzone: Shadow Fall (PS4, 2013)

The game provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    # to E 
  • Absent Aliens: No extraterrestrials here, despite being halfway through the millennium. The Helghast themselves are just descendants of a group/corporation of Vektan colonists, who rebelled against the Earth government with the intention to declare independence and keep the colonial property for themselves. For this, they were banished for their crimes to the neighbouring Death World planet of Helghan. There they underwent a bit of Hollywood Evolution due to the extreme climate and biochemical conditions of the atmosphere and became an offshoot/subspecies of regular humans. Helghan itself does have a variety of native Flora and Fauna, none of which is sentient. Doesn't make them any less dangerous.
  • Action Commands: Killzone 3 brings us the "brutal melee," triggered by pressing the melee button when approaching the enemy directly from either the front or back. Or if you're using the PS3 Move, you make a stabbing motion.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Helghast are a militaristic, xenophobic people bent on galactic domination. Notable in that their plan for domination revolves around starving billions of humans on Vekta and Earth, in order to repopulate these planets solely with Helghast. Hell, they even LOOK like Nazi's!
    • Commie Nazis: They include a number of design cues and ideologies from Soviet Russia as well. Orlock and Visari have a similar appearance to Joseph Stalin, and Stalin's middle name is Vissarionovich while the initial letters of Jorhan Stahl's name are the same as Stalin's (Stahl and Stalin also mean steel). Stahl's power games in Killzone 3 after Visari's death fit right in with Stalin's own power grab post-Lenin's death.
      • The "Commie" part is turned up a notch in Shadow Fall, where the Helghast and Vektans are in the middle of a Cold War. The Helghast portion of the planet is a straight up allegory for East Germany, having succeeded a fascist government after a war and being separated from the Vektans by a wall. The villain of Shadow Fall is even a young radical who constantly spews anti-Capitalist rhetoric.
      • Furthermore, the Helghast also draw inspiration from Noth Korea which follows a syncretic militaristic Juche ideology as well, not to mention are separated from their Southern counterparts with flaring tensions as in Shadow Fall. The script of the Helghan people also bears a resemblance to Korean Hangul.
      • Killzone 2 and 3 start to give the Helghast flavors of Arab nationalism as well, an ideology that is also syncretic, with the fallout from Visari's death and the ensuing chaos on Helghast being akin to the conflict of Iraq in the War on Terror post-Saddam Hussein. In Shadow Fall, the insurgencies committed by the walled-off Helghast against what they see as an oppressor are akin to Palestine's conflict with Israel.
  • Anyone Can Die: Made prevalent in Killzone 2 when the plot calls for it.
  • All There in the Manual: The game's official website has a section detailing the backstory of the Helghast and the ISA. Mercenary takes it further and adds intel to be collected in the campaign.
    • A collectible newspaper found on Helghan near the end of Shadow Fall provides a clue what happened to Sev and Rico; they returned to Vekta after the war, but were forced to go into hiding after the Helghast remnants declared them war criminals for their role in the Terracide.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Killzone: Shadow Fall has these prominently featured in most levels of the campaign and even certain multiplayer maps.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: From Templar in 1 to Sev in 2 to Lucas in Shadow Fall. Of course, with Templar's importance, he wouldn't exactly be on the field. Mercenary allows the player to relieve the events of Killzone 2 through the perspective of Arran Danner.
    • And if the ending of Shadow Fall is any indication there might be yet another different lead for the sequel to that game.
  • Apocalypse How: Helghan gets subjected to a Class 6 at the end of 3.
  • Attack Drone: The Helghast love these.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Being a militant culture, Helghast promotion seems to be based significantly on personal martial skill (although ideological loyalty seems to be an even more important factor). On the ISA side, Captain Templar ends up being promoted to Colonel as well as Fleet Commander due to the copious amounts of asskicking he performs in the original Killzone and Killzone: Liberation.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Colonel Cobar, General Metrac, and Colonel Radec all are feared officers who serve as end-game bosses.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: The Jetpack in Killzone 3. Though it is obviously useful for flying around, you can't crouch while using it, and using it to fly leaves you open to enemy fire. The Jetpack does have a machine gun with infinite ammo, but it's rather inaccurate.
    • The STA-7 from Mercenary may look like a good stealth weapon with its 48-round magazine and silencer, but its damage and accuracy is so poor that trying for a headshot will usually just alert the enemy.
  • Badass Normal: ISA soldiers Jan Templar and especially Tomas "Sev" Sevchenko.
    • This video alone should be enough proof of how awesome Sev is!
    • If you're still not convinced, there's one other scene in the game where Sev takes on three Capture Troopers by himself... without any weapons or special armor... using only his basic CQC skills... and still beats them!
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Sev and Narville share a moment of this when dozens of Helghast surround and attack them in the Kaznan Jungle. They do a pretty good job defending themselves... until the Capture Troopers come.
  • Battle Couple:
    • Rico and Jammer in KZ3, at least with all the unresolved sexual tension and flirting between the two.
    • In the past, prior to Killzone 1, Luger and Jan were dating after meeting at a training exercise, but split up due to Jan's constant Boy Scout chivalry 'protecting' her. During Killzone 1, while Luger is very adamant that her Shadow Marshal training means she's one cold soldier, there is still UST between them, and Hakha notes they work rather well together.
  • Bald of Evil: As a result of Helga's atmosphere nearly killing them, the original Helghast colonists in Killzone 1s intro are either losing hair or are completely bald, and all Helghast troopers you fight from then on are bald. The biggest exceptions are General Metrac and Jorhan Stahl, who have hair, likely in an attempt to differentiate them.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: In KZ2, after being defeated, Colonel Radec and his men commit suicide so as not to become prisoners of the ISA.
  • Big Bad: Visari is the leader of the Helghast and the primary antagonist, until his death at the end of the second game.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: After Visari is killed, this trope is in full effect.
    • Averted in Killzone: Liberation, which takes place before Visari's death. General Metrac of the Helghast Military, who seeks to steal the Red Dust nukes from the ISA and is the most active threat to Templar. General Stratson, on the other hand, is an ISA General and a Turncoat, being the mastermind of the shutting down of Vekta's orbital defenses with Adams, and is a defector, working to further Helghast and Metrac's cause of invading Vekta.
    • In Killzone 3, Orlock and Stahl are locked in a power struggle following Visari's death, making them the primary antagonists. Stahl edges out by the end when he outplays and kills Orlock.
    • Shadow Fall has Stahl again, as well as Sinclair.
    • Mercenary has three Big Bads. Admiral Grey of the ISA and Colonel Kratek of the Helghast both want to get their hands on a bioweapon to end the war in their respective side's favor, while Benoit just wants to sell it on the black market and make a huge profit.
  • Central Theme: The conflicts between the Helghast and the ISA and the history behind it exemplifies the fact that War Is Hell, often fought by sides which are both justified and unjustified in their motives and deeds (some only a little better or worse than others), and more often then not end in such a way they plant seeds of bitterness and vindictiveness which only serve to fuel a Cycle of Revenge that makes renewed conflict not only inevitable, but far worse than the previous one, and in the process of trying to defeat each other the warring sides end up becoming increasingly worse monsters as hatred accumulates between them with every atrocity perpetrated by both sides.
  • Character Development: Rico in Killzone 3. Despite massively breaking it in the second game and still disobeying Narville's orders from time to time, he does learn to be more responsible in taking care of his men and ends up saving the lives of Jammer, Sev, and Narville (all in the same game!). He also apologizes about killing Visari and is shown to be a very competent leader to his Raiders.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Although the objective of capturing Visari is mentioned throughout the game repeatedly, Evelyn specifically tells Rico to his face to "treat him professionally" if they meet the dictator should you stick around to overhear their conversation. In the literal face of Visari's Hannibal Lecture as he got too close to Alpha Team for comfort, Rico, after two games of non-stop hatred for the Helghast, flips his shit and guns him down in cold blood, completely ignoring orders as flippantly as he should've been expected to. Cue the Helghast's second wind and a massive clusterfuck of a power vacuum.
  • Continuity Nod: When Saric threatens Lucas that one day, the people of New Helghan will march across the wall and take over the rest of Vekta, Lucas retorts that it will not be easy as the last time. This is in reference to the first game where the traitorous General Adams took over the SD Platform that allowed the Helghast fleet to easily slip through the defenses and nearly took over Vekta.
  • Crapsack World: Being a story where World War II is essentially Recycled In Space, the setting of Killzone is not pretty.
    • Helghan is one in-universe, on account of being a barely hospitable Death World constantly wrecked by unstable weather, saturated with volatile and toxic substances, populated by hostile wildlife, and which would become the heart of a militaristic totalitarian regime hell-bent on revenge and racial supremacy. It gets worse post-Terracide as the planet-scaled devastation left the Helghan civilization all but obliterated, its surface a blasted wasteland littered with ruined cities while pockets of very angry Helghast survivors live underground.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Anytime the UCA or UCN decides to intervene in a conflict with their full military might. Wars that colonies have fought over years are won by them in a matter of hours.
  • Custom Uniform: Colonel Cobar, Colonel Radec and General Metrac.
  • Cycle of Revenge: A nasty one. The Helghan monopoly revolted against Earth's attempts to tax it, so they were defeated in the first Extrasolar war. The Helghast leave their homes, reform as an Empire and strike back to take Vekta, and the ISA retaliates and invades Helghan. The Helghast prepare to exterminate Earth as a "final solution," only to have ISA sabotage result in the destruction of their world. Now two cultures with a history of hatred and bloodshed are sharing Vekta, and the situation is ready to explode.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!!: A minor one in Killzone 3. In Killzone 2, when entering cover, you push up on the left analog stick to peek out. Zooming in with the right analog stick will be cancelled the moment you let go of the left analog stick. In Killzone 3, releasing pressure on the left stick does not cancel the zoom, leaving you exposed if you forget to toggle the zoom off.
    • Also, players switching from Call of Duty to Killzone 2 or 3 may find themselves performing a melee attack when they mean to zoom, and doing nothing when they try to crouch. Shadow Fall switches the aim and melee buttons to be more in line with conventional FPS control layouts.
    • The HD remake of the first game switches the reload and weapon swap commands to the Square and Triangle buttons respectively, which may frustrate those accustomed to the classic version.
  • Darker and Edgier: Killzone 2. Oh god Killzone 2!
    • Killzone 3 topped it. Especially with its ending.
    • Shadow Fall is possibly the darkest in the series yet, transitioning from an action packed war game into a more nuanced espionage thriller with Grey-and-Gray Morality in full effect.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Hakha, mostly to Rico.
    Rico: "The mighty brain agrees with the grunt, that's a first."
    Hakha: "Even a monkey will write Shakespeare given enough time."
    • Shadow Marshal Luger's training did this to her.
    • Sev also has his moments.
  • Death World: Helghan. Not the most horrible example of the trope, but it is still an incredibly harsh landscape that forced its colonists to pretty much evolve into another subspecies of human being to survive. Also, giant fucking spiders (which are the source of the petrusite the Helghast use as for very high end weaponry/fossil fuel), exploding mushrooms and man-made hazards such as irradiated petrusite everywhere.
    • Don't forget the plants which look like praying mantis blades which will strike out at you when you get too close to one of them.
  • Defiant Captive: Sev, when he and Narville are captured in 3.
    Helghast Trooper: Get up!
    Sevchenko: Fuck off!
    Helghast Trooper: [Hits Sevchenko with the stock of his rifle] I said get up!
    Sevchenko: I said FUCK OFF!!!
(Next scene)
Sevchenko: Your king went down like a pussy!
[One Helghast tries to punch Sev while the other restrains him]
Helghast Trooper: If you touch him, Stahl will kill us both!
Sevchenko: Ooh, that sounds bad! All I'm sayin' is that Visari died crying like a little bitch!
  • Defiant to the End: In 2, "Without Authorisation from high command, those codes are going nowhere."
    • And then after he gets shot three times at point blank, Templar crawls to the main console, and shuts off the New Sun's altitude control thrusters, sending the ship diving into Tharsis refinery.
  • Determinator: Even after all the hardships they had to endure in the past, and having to lose their homeworld and being forced to settle on the planet of their enemies, the Helghast still continue to fight.
  • Disc-One Nuke: In Killzone 1, both Luger and Rico have incredibly powerful default equipment. The secondary fire of Luger's SMG is a Sniper Pistol that is usually a one-hit-kill against anything less than the Elite Mooks and which can be used outside the A.I.'s effective range, while Rico's chaingun can easily mow down pretty much any enemy in the game other than vehicles.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The First Extrasolar War, which is portrayed in comics throughout "Shadow Fall", resembles World War I with archaic-looking gasmasks over all the soldiers to protect from hazardous chemicals (Helghan's atmosphere), trench warfare, and the war ending with the losing side humiliated and saddled with losses (Germany's fines for damage caused by the war/The Helghast's retreat back to Helghan's with heavy surveillance). The conflict of "2" and "3" resembles World War II with the Helghast's swastika-like symbols and armbands, betrayals of leaders within the empire by fellow leaders, and the end of the conflict caused by using a devastating weapon that causes a huge amount of deaths and destroys the environment where it hit. "Shadow Fall" is a parallel for the Cold War, with a tense relationship between two nations separated by a wall due to the war they previously fought, scientists from both nations developing technology and weapons to outdo each other, and a secretly ongoing war that cannot be publicly acknowledged without risking the safety of the world.
    • That, and there's frequent mentions of Vekta's "energy security" in reference to the petrusite extracted from Helghan. Make of that what you will.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: In the last part of Killzone 2, the remaining ISA forces are routed, cut off from any chance of escape, and have multiple platoons of Helghast forces headed in their direction and out for blood. Their response, which is to launch a direct assault on Visari's palace to capture him anyway, is best summed up by Sevchenko:
    "So yeah, Natko's right. We're fucked either way. But when has that ever stopped us before?"
  • Downer Ending/"Shaggy Dog" Story: Killzone 2, oh so very much. To iterate: The team FINALLY makes it to Visari, and manages to kill Radec, the top General and Visari's right hand man. Unfortunately, Visari pulls a Batman Gambit on Rico, and states that he will be martyrized in his death, sending the Helghast into a fury. Rico, broken over the deaths of his friends and comrades, ignores Sev's protests and kills him, basically ensuring that the Helghast will go apeshit. As Sev sits outside on the palace steps, a Helghast fleet flies into orbit, ready and willing to decimate the ISA forces still on the ground.
    • Killzone 3 for the entire population of the planet Helghan. First they suffered for years under an inhumane regime before being hit by a weapon designed to wipe out a planets population.
      • Doubles as a Bittersweet Ending for the ISA. Though they finally won the war they'd spent seven months fighting, they lost a substantial amount of their own forces in the process. Even worse, they're likely to receive a less-than-warm welcome from their own people on Vekta.
      • Also knowing the backstory it's clear that Vekta is going to face hard times as well thanks to their victory. Without resources from Helghan the economy of Vekta will soon collapse.
    • By Shadow Fall, the planet is still being mined for its Petrusite though its output is smaller than previous records due to the dangerous environment, collapsed infrastructure, and bitter underground-dwelling survivors.
      • The ending to Shadow Fall. Kellan manages to stop Stahl and Tyran from deploying the bioweapon only to be killed by Sinclair for having become a liability to his plans. Might be more of a Bittersweet Ending after all, as while everyone except Echo is dead, she assassinates Sinclair and avenges Kellan. A newspaper found in the final level implies that the Helghast and Vektan civilians, at least, are overcoming their differences, and the trophy description for earning the True Ending indicates that the assassination of Sinclair prevented the escalation of a new war.
      • Not even Shadow Fall's In-Game Comic Book is exempt. After accidentally slaughtering the men he spent the whole story trying to save, the protagonist willingly walks towards the enemy, waiting for them to kill him. They do.
  • The Dragon: Cobar to Metrac, Radec to Visari.
  • Dragon Their Feet: For whatever reason, Visari chose to keep the bulk of his forces in reserve until after he was dead.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Sev and Rico do this in Killzone 3 to infiltrate Stahl Arms and rescue Captain Narville.
  • Dungeon Bypass: In Shadow Fall, one sequence involves a hostage situation in an under-construction high-rise. The player has access to an ability that lets them see foes through those nice, thin plaster walls, and one of the first foes the player encounters wields a minigun.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: In Killzone 2, Templar is killed by Colonel Radec on the bridge of the New Sun, but before he dies he successfully crashes the New Sun into Tharsis Refinery, cutting off power in Pyrrhus and the arc tower there.
    • A villain version comes from Visari in Killzone 2. The ending makes it pretty clear that his death only made matters worse. Thanks a lot Rico.
  • Dying Race: The Helghast have apparently become this during the time of Shadow Fall.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Sort of, with Killzone 3's ending, which, while not ending with the outright destruction of Helghan itself, ends with Stahl's own weapon being used on it, which is heavily implied to have wiped out virtually everyone on the planet.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • Killzone has the aptly named Elite Soldiers (who take half a mag of assault rifle fire to put down and tend to fight with light machine guns), Assault Soldiers (who wear heavy black armor and tend to fight with heavy weaponry), and the Praetorian Guard Bodyguards (who are even more heavily armored than the former two Elite Mooks and only appear in the game's 2 "boss fights" against enemy Generals).
    • Killzone 2 has a number of specialist units with enhanced durability (generally twice as much health as a normal Mook) and specialized weaponry loadouts, including shotgun-wielding Commandoes, flamethrower-wielding Pyros, and fast, flanking Elite Shock Troopers.
    • Kilzone 3 adds Stahl's melee-oriented Capture Troopers as well as his heavily-armored, lightning-gun wielding Hazmat Troopers.
    • The last few levels of Killzone: Shadow Fall have the Armadillo Troopers equipped with technologically advanced personal energy shields and high-powered assault rifles. They are not part of the Black Hand or the regular Helghast military, and are in fact part of Chairman Stahl's personal elite forces.
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: The dynamic of the main characters for the first game.
    • Shadow Marshal Luger used to be the love interest of Templar, before she underwent SM training. Hakha lampshades this, explaining it to Rico with amusement.
  • The Empire: The Helghast Empire.
  • Enemy Chatter: Common amongst Helghast troops, who often broadcast tactical information in clear. Lampshaded by Chairman Stahl.
    Helghast: The Chairman is exposed! Wing group, form up.
    Stahl: Give me that! Stop broadcasting on an open channel!
  • Enemy Civil War: With Visari dead at the end of Killzone 2, in Killzone 3, Stahl and Orlock are competing with each other in order to become the new leader of the Helghast empire, which is a good thing for the protagonists (who just want to get off from planet Helghan) since the Helghast are just as busy sabotaging each other as they are killing the ISA remnants. Though the conflict is mostly brewing with the actual civil war beeing a short five minute fight between Orlock and Stahl after later destroyed most of the Helghast fleet.
  • The Enemy Weapons Are Better: Inverted in the first and second games. In the first game, your ISA characters are unfamiliar with Helghast weapons, resulting in them having terrible handling and accuracy if they attempt to use them (though the machinegun is serviceable simply due to the sheer amount of lead it spits out). Colonel Hakha, being a defecting Helghast soldier, is the only player character able to use Helghast weapons effectively. In the second game, Helghast weapons handle similarly to ISA ones, but lack fancier attachments such as reflex sights, making them less user-friendly. The overall result of all this is that ISA weapons are more effective, but at the cost of having less ammo available as enemies won't drop ammo for them.
  • Escape from the Crazy Place: The plot for Killzone 3.
  • Evil Brit: The Helghast have British Accents while the ISA have American Accents.
    • Justified in the case of the Helghast as the Helghast Corporation was founded in the UK.
  • Expy: Radec's and Metrac's uniforms in particular seem to have taken some inspiration from the Imperium in the 41st Millenium.
    • Plus there's the Helghast battle cries of "For the emperor!", coincidence?
      • Along with there being a very big weapon called the Boltgun, the ammunition of which explodes after embedding themselves in a target (and flinging them across the room).
    • And of course, the Helghast resemble, and are likely inspired by, the Protect Gears from Mamoru Oshii's Kerberos Saga. And the heavies in the second game seem a little familiar. Of course, Guerrilla Games hasn't commented on this and said nothing to confirm or deny it, considering that a lot of people at forum boards were asking about this.
    • Scolar Visari was inspired by Adolf Hitler, with a dash of Vladimir Harkonnen.
      • To elaborate: he's an exceedingly charismatic leader who comes to power after a singularly devastating and disastrous war for his nation, rules like a dictator (see what happens to "pro-human" dissidents) even though he is so popular he probably doesn't need to, who spends a decade or so building the nation back up into a militarist superpower with an exceedingly rascist (or Xenophobic) objective, who then starts a new war based on somewhat justifiable territorial claims. He certainly isn't a clear copy of Hitler (in many ways, Visari actually is what Hitler's followers thought/hoped he would be). However, another historical copy is perhaps (somewhat strangely) a darker copy of the American Revolution (perhaps Washington, Jefferson, etc get replaced by Lindenburg, Nye, etc).
      • However, he doesn't suck militarily like Hitler did, actually letting his military officers do their job without leashing them to his moods and whims. Compare Hitler's treatment of Alfred Jodl and Heinz Guderian to Visari's treatment of Radec and Metrac.
    • Killzone 2's mech has exactly the same armament as Quake 4's, save for having four less missiles in the reloadable pod.
    • The Helghast submachine gun is an Uzi receiver with the magazine, grip and stock of a PP-19 Bizon.
      • On a simliar note, the ISA silenced smg in KZ 3 is a MP-7.
      • And the ISA M82 assault rifle is clearly based off the British SA 80 and the US M16, with an EoTech holographic sight (albeit with a green dot instead of a red reticle).
    • The standard UCN rifle, however, is not based off of an M16... it IS an M16.
    • Orlock is an Expy of Ludendorff. Yeah, the guy that commanded the German army in World War I. Find a picture in the other wiki, and you will be struck by the similar look.
    • Rico Velasquez, at least in the first game, is an expy of Vasquez from Aliens. An Ambiguously Brown, foul mouthed tough soldier who wields a huge machine assisted minigun? The only difference is gender.
    • The ISA are a loose expy of both NATO and the US Marines.
    • The giant wall separating the Vektans and Helghast refugees in Shadow Fall is a pretty clear reference to the Berlin Wall. The Black Hand, a Helghast terrorist group opposed to the current peace between their government and the ISA, is another reference to Operation Werwolf as well has the real life Black Hand which was responsible for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and thus the start of World War I.
      • The entire Helghast become clear references to East Germany by the events of Shadow Fall. In addition to the wall mentioned above, the new Helghast state is in a Cold War with the Vektans and succeeded a fascist government after their home was destroyed.
  • Eye Scream: One of the melee attacks in Killzone 3 is jamming a knife in the eye.
    • Another melee has Sev shoving his thumbs into two Helghast eyesockets. He broke the goggles to shove them in.

    F to N 
  • Fantastic Racism: Between the humans and the Helghast. The ISA have their own Fantastic Slur — "Higs" — for the Helghast.
    • Averted in one situation in the sequel. Despite how much he hated them, Rico spared the life of a Helghast engineer, although this might be because he was a civilian.
    • Also averted in Radec's case as he doesn't care about conquest or Helghast claims of human inferiority. And strangely, Visari has a couple of aversions by having Metrac and Radec as senior officers despite their "Shortcomings" (like Metrac looking almost human, and Radec's aforementioned lack of zeal for Visari's fascist idealolgy).
      • This could all hint towards Visari not really believing in his ideology. His daughter, who is briefly seen in the KZ3 intro looks completly human, having no Helghast features at all.
      • Confirmed in Shadow Fall, where she is implied to be only half-Helghast.
    • In the first game, the protagonists are sent to rescue a spy named Hakha. They find him unarmed and locked in an empty room after the Helghast found him out. Upon seeing he is half-Helghast, Rico nearly kills him and expresses disgust at the idea of a relationship between a Helghast and a human.
  • A Father to His Men: Captain Narville in Killzone 3 has this in spades. Unfortunately for him, Rico's Omniscient Morality License means that his gung-ho "do the hell whatever" approach always ends up being proven right, while Narville's much more conservative "follow orders" approach just keeps making him look bad.
  • Flamethrower Backfire: Liberation featured scout units (Helghast of course) with unusually explosive, large radios on their backs that stun the wearer when detonated. Thankfully, destroying the radio of a scout prevents them from calling in backup or alerting other Helghast.
    • You can do this to flamethrower-wielding enemies in Mercenary by shooting the tanks on their backs.
  • Flat Character:
    • Colonel Radec is a strange case of this. The Killzone Wiki has this to say about him: "It is almost as if he has willingly burned out any personality, education or characteristics that do not contribute in the swift and resolute execution of his duties."
    • Natko, whose only purpose in the story is to curse all the time.
    • The ISA is this in faction form. While the Helghast get scenery chewing leaders, especialy Visari and his rousing speeches, the ISA have next to no visible or hearable leaders, except for that spokesman briefly heared at the beginning of 2, giving the player no one to inspire them to fight for the ISA. Likewise while the Helghast have stylishly evil looking british storm troopers, the ISA has generic soldiers with various flavors of patriotic Americans.
    • However, that doesn't mean that the ISA have no personality or character whatsoever. For example, Sev came from a fairly wealthy family on Vekta and joined the ISA as a way to experience the adventure, danger, and heroism he would never get as a civilian. Months later, Sev realized the horrible reality of war when the Helghast invaded his planet, murdered his parents, and caused his sister to go permanently insane. Afterwards, Sev joined the ISA's counter-assault on Helghan to make his enemies pay for what they did to his family.
  • Fight to Survive: The ISA forces on Vekta have been reduced to this during the events of Killzone 3, having been effectively abandoned by the ISA high command.
  • Final Solution: In Shadow Fall, the jackboot is on the other foot, as the VSA are secretly developing a genocide weapon that makes your skin fall off if you're Helghast. Video logs detailing experimentation on Helghast workers are not pleasant. This is apparently meant as a "deterrent," but some Vektans — like Sinclair — have other ideas.
    • Kratek and Admiral Grey did it first in Mercenary-the former developed a bioweapon intended for use against humans, which the latter attempts to steal and repurpose against Helghast.
  • First-Person Ghost: Played completely straight in the first game. Zigzagged in the second-you can't see your character's legs, but you do have a visible shadow. Averted in the third game, which allows you to see your legs in real time. Mercenary and Shadow Fall also avert this trope.
  • Foreshadowing: In the intro of Shadow Fall, Sinclair ruthlessly kills a downed Helghast who was already stunned. This foreshadows his extremism and tendency to go overboard which threaten to cause another Human-Helghast war near the end of the game.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the beginning of Killzone 3, one of the Helghast Officers looks exactly (heavy emphasis) like Hitler.
  • Gaiden Game: Killzone: Liberation - a top-down shooter for the PSP that takes place shortly after the first Killzone. Killzone: Mercenary shows the ISA invasion from the eyes of a ISA-hired mercenary.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Coupled with Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: The ISA wear light blue radios around their uniforms while the Helghast (of course) wear dark black masks with piercing red eyes.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality:
    • Killzone 2 and its games afterward retcon to make the ISA nor the Helghast completely justified in their actions: the Helghast are retconned to have arisen out of constant ISA oppression sending the planet into poverty and misery, and the ISA's invasion of Helga is portrayed as a Vietnam-style clusterfuck that only serves to bring civilians misery.
    • The Earth Government UCN, which commands the ISA, sold mining and passage rights of Alpha Centauri to the old Helghan Corporation who populated Vekta originally for a massive sum of money, but then later realized they gave the Helghan Corporation the power to legally seal off Earth from the rest of the colonies and began looking for a way to take it back. Helghan Corporation began blackmailing the UCN and ISA to enforce the original agreement before deciding to force them to accept the status quo by military power, leading to them being beaten by the combined force of the ISA and UCN forces. As the result the company is dissolved and the UCN starts shipping in colonists from Earth while removing the rights of the original Helghan settlers. Enraged, a few million of them leave for the planet Helghan in the hopes of being free again and starting anew. Meanwhile the ISA secretly controls any communication between Vekta and Helghan, arresting anyone who still has connections to their friends now suffering on Helghan.
    • As for the Helghast, their long-held anger and resentment towards the Vektans made them do atrocious things. When they invaded Vekta, they massacred civilians,(including Sev's family) as well as soldiers! They also held zero regard for the lives of POWs, killing them on the spot and even subjecting some of them to horrifying military experiments. Sound familiar? To top it all off, Scolar Visari, the Helghast dictator, deliberately authorized the ''nuking of his own capital city, blatantly murdering many of his own men as well as the invading ISA there! Though that said, it's revealed that Visari did have much of the population evacuated prior to the ISA's invasion, explaining why said city seemed devoid of life.
    • So, in the end, both sides are flawed, destructive, and tyrannical in its own way. It may also count as Evil Versus Evil (or at the very least A Darker Shade of Gray example of this).
  • Green Rocks: Petrusite, a literal glowing green rock native to Helgan. In Killzone 2 it's used to power Arc lightning cannons. It plays a fairly central role in Killzone 3's plot, while Stahl having weaponized it into beam weapons capable of making people explode into Ludicrous Gibs and super-nuclear warheads capable of one-shotting heavy cruisers.
  • Groin Attack: Possible as part of the Brutal Melee system in Killzone Mercenary.
    • In the first game, Rico's melee with his heavy machinegun would have him send the Helghast skyward by ramming the barrel up, between their legs, and then knock them out with a rifle butt when they land.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: New Helghan in Killzone: Shadowfall segregated "tainted" individuals and even deported them. Though same could be said to ISA side of Vekta, which the said-exiled Half-Helghans were allowed back into New Helghan as a result.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Stahl and Orlock engage in this. They eventually take the "combat" part a bit literally.
  • Hand Cannon: In addition to the huge revolvers the ISA carry as sidearms, 3 adds a tri-barreled shotgun pistol.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Killzone 2 and Killzone 3 had heavy troopers, miniboss-like large Helghast soldiers equipped with chainguns and wearing heavy bulletproof armor, who can only be killed by targeting the explosive power canister on their back. Killzone 3 also has Stahl's Hazmat Troopers, who can survive much more damage than any other enemy (almost a full magazine of assault rifle fire to the torso).
  • Heavyworlder: The Helghast, technically, but they don't seem that much stronger than normal humans judging by how both Templar and Sev are still able to crack their bald skulls in with a well-aimed rifle butt.
    • But then again, consider that the petrusite they use to power everything is harvested from giant exploding spiders.
    • The Helghast are just humans who have adapted to Helghan's harsh environment not too long ago. While they were able to quickly adapt to be able to breathe there, increased strength as one would expect from a Heavyworlder would take some more time.
      • Which leads to a case of fridge logic. Sev can remove gatling guns and use them on foot. The only Helghast you will ever see doing something simliar is the Heavy with his Chaingun, a man in a powered armor who is pumped full with drugs. All that despite the fact that Vekta has a lower gravitation than Helghast.
  • Heroic Mime: The player characters in the first three games do speak during cutscenes but are silent during actual gameplay.
    • Arran Danner in Mercenary plays this totally straight, being silent throughout the whole game.
    • Averted with Lucas Kellan in Shadow Fall, who speaks freely in and out of gameplay.
  • Humongous Multi-legged Battleship: The MAWLR in Killzone 3 is so huge, it takes several levels, and a whole lot of dakka missiles to kill it.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: In Killzone 3, the ISA wants to end the war, and so is urging Narville to surrender his troops. To the Helghast. They somehow expect the Helghast to abide by treaties and The Laws and Customs of War even though the Helghast have repeatedly shown their brutality towards prisoners of war.
  • Hypocrite: Like it or not: Visari. According to the novel, he furiously proclaimed to his people on how "the Vektans profit from their suffering", even though he himself profits from their suffering by taking over the petrusite industry and using the power source itself as a weapon.
    • Even worse, He boldly promises that he would "return power to the people", but instead, he only gives power to a few select members of the Helghast Senate, not because they deserved it, but because of their loyalty to Visari! On top of that, Visari made their positions hereditary, "effectively establishing a system of birthright and patrimony to be preserved in perpetuity. All would bow to Visari's chosen few—forever."
    • There is also his speech about how the Helghast are superior humans and that they should become the dominant species, which is one of his justifications for the war. In Shadowfall it's revealed his own daughter is half-Helghast.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice/Blown Across the Room/Made of Explodium: The rounds fired from the Boltgun in Killzone 2 impale your target, flinging them a huge distance away with sheer force alone or sticking them onto whatever is behind them, and then explode.
  • Informed Attribute: We're told that the Sev in Killzone 2 is "an imperfect soldier in a perfect army". This is not exactly an accurate way to describe the Vektan task-force, which at one point simply watches an unknown weapon being deployed without even attempting to stop it.
    • Similarly, a big deal is made of Radec's sense of honor, but this really just amounts to his objecting to the things he has to do and then doing them regardless.
      • The environment on Helghan is supposed to be hazardous to human health, right? At no point in any of the Killzone games do the ISA characters suffer from any ill-effects of the planet's conditions. Hell, in Killzone 3, the ISA troops are stranded on the planet for six months, and none of them develop as much as a cough from the supposedly toxic atmosphere. Nor is any mention made of them receiving any drug treatments to combat such problems, it's apparently not an issue whatsoever.
      • The Helghast have been on the planet a long time. They probably terraformed it to suit the atmosphere at one point. They only wear the gas masks now as a symbol of pride, not because they need them anymore.
  • In-Game Novel: Pages of a Helghan comic book called "The Shadow" are scattered around the environments of Shadow Fall— once the player picks all of them up the whole thing can be read. It's actually quite beautifully written and was drawn by Guerrilla Games' senior concept artist Michel Voogt. In-universe, it was banned for its War Is Hell theme in fear that it would discourage readers from joining the military.
  • It Has Been an Honor: In Killzone 2, Templar's speech over the intercom when the New Sun has been boarded, slightly foreshadows what happens next.
  • Jet Pack: The jet pack troops in Liberation make a reapearance in Killzone 3, and offer the player the chance to go toe-to-toe with them whenever you find jet packs to do it with.
  • Kick the Dog: The military arm of the Helghast love to do these. In the first game intro we see them executing Helghast civilians on the street and mercilessly shooting unarmed dock workers in their invasion. In 2 we have Visari blowing up his own soldiers to take out a majority of the ISA forces. In 3 we have them performing horrible experiments on captured ISA soldiers. Also in each game we get at least one scene of them executing captured ISA soldiers on the spot.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Visari, in the middle of another epic speech at the end of Killzone 2.
  • Kill Sat: The SD Platform in the first game, the ISA crusiers in Killzone 2 are pseudo versions of these. The SD platform does jack.
    • The Sky Fury in Mercenary is less of a killsat and more of a target pointer; but it will still atomize tanks and exoskeletons from orbit.
  • Large Ham: Scolar Visari, voiced by Brian Cox, gives such scenery-chewing speeches that have inspired many players to fight for the Helghast cause.
    • Colonel Hakha to a minor extent.
      • With the third game you may be wondering how they found anyone capable of topping a scenery-chewer like Brian Cox. Ray Winstone and Malcolm McDowell, that's who.
    • It's practically a requisite for joining the Helghast army. Listen to everything the soldiers shout in Killzone.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Combined with an injoke, In the Killzone 2 intro, look closely at the new ticker. One says: "Helmets. Are they really necessary?" Most likely referencing to the fact that none of the heroes ever wear helmets and seem to be no worse without them.
  • Let's Play: A rather impressive one was provided by the team Blind Sally, nine gear crow, et al, in video and written form, covering not just the games themselves in an entertaining way, but also the background lore, the behind-the-scenes details, the series' real world influences, and in-depth discussion about the narrative.
    • Their reviews of the three main games: Link.
    • Their review of the PSP entry, Liberation: Link
    • Their LP of Mercenary is, as of this writing, in-progress: Link
  • Lighter and Softer: Word of God has gone on record saying that the third game is not as bleak and hopeless as the second.
    • While not as bleak for the protagonists, Killzone 3 cannot really be considered better or more hopeful than Killzone 2. The game even ends with the possible death of the majority of people on Helghan including what could be left of the ISA there.
  • Limited Loadout: The first game lets you carry 2 primary weapons and 1 sidearm, and 1 of those primary weapon slots will typically always be occupied by your character's signature default weapon, as it's usually the best all-rounder for them. The second game reduces this to 1 primary weapon and 1 sidearm, which can be a big problem as this means you're limited to your pistol whenever you're required to carry around a rocket launcher or other heavy weapon to take out vehicles or other heavy armor. To address this, the third game lets you carry 1 primary weapon, 1 sidearm, and 1 heavy weapon.
  • Love Hurts: Templar and Luger's relationship in the first game. Hakha summed it up thusly:
    "A special forces captain falls in love, he promises her the world, but she has other plans. Nine months later they meet again, except now the brave captain's sweetheart is a cold assassin; trained to kill, trained to think not feel, act not reflect."
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The WASP rocket launcher.
  • Made of Explodium: Petrusite is described as "Highly unstable" and as such anything containing it or anything made of the stuff tends to explode when shot at.
  • Made of Iron: Every major enemy leader is able to absorb significantly more bullets than the regular grunts, even in cases where it really doesn't make any sense for them to be able to do so (such as Admiral Adams or even General Lente). General Metrac and Colonel Radec both take the cake, though, both being able to absorb more damage than an actual tank.
  • Magical Defibrillator: In 2 and 3 the player carries one and can use it to revive downed squadmates so they can get themselves shot again. It fires a beam of electricity, and, amusingly, if you just ignore an injured NPC they'll get up by themselves when the current engagement ends, despite the manual saying they won't.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The United Colonial Nations (UCN) which is essentialy Earth's government ruling over all colonies. They have the strongest military force in the Killzone universe and are using the local ISA forces as proxies to keep a tight control over all colonies. ISA commanders and shadow marshals are trained directly by the UCN's military, in order to ensure their loyality to Earth first. Despite being directly responsible for the entire conflict in all Killzone games, they are only passingly mentioned and never directly seen.
    • In Shadow Fall they are also responsible for forcing Vekta's government into giving the survivors of Helghan half of their capital city without time of the locals to relocate peacefully, instead allowing the Helghast free hand to deport them with any force they like as seen in the intro.
  • Meaningful Name: The Helghast capital is named Pyrrhus, which is doubly fitting considering that the ISA loses most of their troops getting Visari and that Visari ends up nuking the city to get rid of the ISA. Neither tactic ends well.
  • Mini-Mecha: The EXO in Killzone 2 certainly fills the role, and is gangs of fun.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: Killzone 3 is essentially Killzone 2 with a new campaign; it uses the same engine (with improved graphics) and the weapons and enemies are the same with identical stats. The largest difference is there the reduction of the "weight lag" control system, making the controls much more responsive.
  • Moe Greene Special: While you normally have to shoot off a Helghast's helmet to score a headshot, aiming for the Glowing Eyes of Doom will cause them to go down in one shot.
  • More Dakka: Other than the two factions' own LMG models which you get to make great use of, there are removable miniguns and vehicle-mounted machine guns you get to use a lot.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: What the ISA (or at least Sev and Jammer) were thinking at the end when they realized that they'd just accidentally nuked the entire planet.
    Jammer: "Guys, I'm not reading any comms traffic."
    Rico: "I know. We took out the whole fleet."
    Jammer: "I mean nothing, man. The entire planet is silent."
    Sev: "Jesus, how many people were down there?"
  • Nerf: None of Killzone 1's secondary fires, ranging from a shotgun attachment for the default Higs assault rifle to a pneumatic rocket launcher for the heavy machine gun, are present until Shadow Fall, which nerfs their incredible damage.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero/Leeroy Jenkins: Rico, twice in the Killzone 2. He didn't follow Sev's ambush plan on Radec around mid-game, resulting in Garza's death. He then killed Visari despite their mission being to arrest him and Visari's warnings of what would happen if they killed him, bringing a Helghast fleet down on the ISA remnants.
    • Rico's Leeroy Jenkins tendencies continue on in Killzone 3, mixed in with Attack! Attack! Attack!, as that's what he primarily has his Raiders do even when it seems like a bad idea. Somehow, it works, despite the fact that they should've all died after what he put them through. He is called on killing Visari several times, and is even told by his commanding officer that if they weren't in the middle of a retreat, he'd have been executed on the spot. Ironically, his commanding officer subsequently ignoring Rico's advice causes the colonel's own charge-in tactics to kill more of his men, and many more wouldn't have been lost if Rico and Sev weren't covering for him.
    • Likewise, the Petrusite chain-reaction devastating almost all of Helghan's infrastructure and population. While it removes the Helghast as an existential threat to Vekta, it also dooms the entire population of that planet as well. The backstory material makes it clear that Vektan economy and most of the space travel in Alpha Centauri completely depends on resources coming from Helghan, which was the reason the ISA wanted to capture Visari and enforce a regime change instead of destroying the Helghast nation at large. With most of Helghan left uninhabitable and one billion Helghan survivors unwilling to mine in Petrusite-infested hellholes without homes for their families, Vekta as a nation is forced to surrender half the planet to the Helghan refugees to prevent its own total economic collapse.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: At the end of Killzone 3 Admiral Orlock tries to pull a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness on Chairman Stahl. How does Stahl respond? By using his advanced technology to destroy the entire Helghast fleet ! To top it off, during the final battle the heroes use one of Stahl's own petrusite warheads against his supercarrier while in Helgan's atmosphere. The resulting explosion consumes the entire surface of the planet! So, in a few hours Stahl pretty much accomplishes what the ISA spent years failing to do; removing the Helghast military as a threat to Vekta. Gee, thanks, you crazy Omnicidal Maniac you.
    • Not only that, Stahl's actions have also caused the surviving Helghast to seek refuge on Vekta, where they are forced to live with their hated foes.
  • Nintendo Hard: The games can and will try your patience, especially Liberation which was actually criticised in reviews for being really damn hard. The main games don't play around either, you're going to find lots of trial and error gameplay in certain levels. It's still noticeably easier and less cheap than, say, Resistance 2.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After Stahl's actions result in Helghan being blown up (which the ISA end up taking the blame for), the ISA inexplicably (Presumably out of guilt over killing nearly a billion of their population) give the Helghast refugees half their own planet to live on. The two sides spent the next 30 years openly hating each other and secretly plotting to exterminate each other.
  • No New Fashions in the Future: Civilian attire for both Vektans and Helghast in Shadow Fall is pretty much the same as present-day.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The ISA Intruders from Killzone 2 and 3 are probably the most unsafe drop ships in scifi history, being little more than a flat platform with engines, a cockpit, and landing gear. In game they don't even have seatbelts! Somewhat justified, the ingame fluff mentions they were originally designed to transport ammo and equipment, but were modified for troop transport due to logistics problems.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Adams tries to play this card with Hakha, claiming that they're both traitors to their respective causes. Hakha shuts him down quickly.
  • Novelization: There's a novel of Killzone 3 called Killzone: Ascendancy, written by Sam Bradbury. It adds a lot of depth and humanity to the main characters (particularly Sev) that we don't get to see in the games.

    O to Z 
  • Odd Couple: Rico and Hakha, who get better as the game progressed. In the sequel, Garza and Natko.
  • Oh, Crap!: What the ISA are thinking when the Helghast fleet arrives over Pyrrhus in Killzone 2.
    • Initial ISA response when the Platform Defense weapons failed.
    • The reaction of any player when on the receiving end of a Helghast rocket launcher in the first game's multiplayer, especially when in an enclosed room.
    • What Stahl was thinking when Sev and Rico fired a freaking nuke at his ship!
      Stahl: (Looks up at the moniter) "Fuck. Fuck. FUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!"
    • Also in Shadow Fall's comic book, when the protagonist fights a group of soldiers in a cloud of poison gas and then sees he has slaughtered the men he'd been desperately trying to find and save up until that point.
  • One-Word Title: Also a Portmantitle.
  • Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future: The Helghast guns are all very boxy, with many being nothing more than a single, solid rectangle. The ISA guns, in contrast, are mostly based on modern, real-life NATO designs.
  • Overheating: The second game's mounted MG and quad AA guns both suffer from this, with the barrels glowing to indicate when they're hot.
  • Portmantitle: Also a One-Word Title.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Radec: "Haven't I killed all of you yet?!"
  • Precision F-Strike: Narville: "Sergeant Velasquez! Are you too stupid to follow a direct order to shut the fuck up!?"
    • Stahl: "The time has come for some new fucking management."
  • Private Military Contractors: The Phantom Talon Corp from Killzone Mercenary. They were hired during the Helghast invasion of Vekta due to the ISA running low on manpower.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: You get one in 2 and 3.
    • Killzone 2: "Go! Find! NARVILLE!!"- Rico
    • Killzone 3: "This! is! an OUTRAGE!!"- Admiral Orlock
  • Putting on the Reich: The Helghast live and breathe this trope. Radec enforces it violently.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The ending of the second game. The Imperial Palace belongs to the ISA, but, counterpoint to their objective, Scolar Visari is dead, causing the Helghast to reveal all of the soldiers and weapons they'd been hiding to rip the ISA fleet apart. This leaves the ISA ground troops vulnerable, and the game ends with them preparing for what looks like a last stand as the Helghast ships rip the remnants of the ISA fleet apart. Fittingly, the enemy's capital is named Pyrrhus.
  • Race Lift: Rico goes from full Latino in the first game to black with Latino traces in the second.
  • Racial Remnant: The Helghast on Vekta in Shadow Fall.
  • Real Is Brown: In this case it's more of a sickly green or yellow or orange, or grey or red, depending on which level you're on. The first game was criticized for looking washed-out, so the second game has real is deliberately oversaturated brown instead.
    • You know it's bad when one of the selling points for the sequel is "It won't be completely brown."
      • Which it wasn't. It was brown and grey, with a few dashes of red and green.
    • Shadow Fall looks like it will avert this, with the gameplay demos showcasing plenty of vibrant colors. Justified in that Vekta's biosphere is no where near as bad as Helghan's.
    • The first game was explicitly set in an industrial district and the nearby poorer residential areas, which accounts for the drab concrete environments. Shadow Fall showcases the wealthier areas of Vekta, and is subsequently much more colorful and high-tech.
  • Red Baron: Colonel Cobar and Colonel Radec are known as the White Death and the Hound of Visari, respectively.
  • Red Shirt Army: The poor ISA can never seem to catch a break.
  • Regenerating Health: The first game has partial regenerating health, where your health could only regenerate up to a certain amount at any one time (about 1/4th of your total health). If you took more than that amount of damage in a single go, you'd have to find medikits to restore the rest. The later games all use the more common regenerate-health-to-full system.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: The Black Hand, a Helghast terrorist group composed of ex-military personnel who still bear a grudge against the ISA for the destruction of Helghan and seeks to rekindle hostilities with the Vektans, in contrast to the Helghast government on Vekta which is committed to maintaining the peace.
  • Retcon: The ISA became much less technologically advanced in the second and third games, replacing somewhat hi-tech body armor with an orange sweater, PAGST helmets, and modern-day vests, stripping down some of the weapons (such as making the ISA machine gun look less futuristic and removing its alt-fire, a rocket launcher) and making the ISA rely on unshielded, open-top dropships. According to background info, this is due to both a Helghast blockade restricting ISA supplies, and the UCN deliberately choking the ISA on equipment, so that if the ISA decides to rebel, they'll be crushed by the UCN's superior weaponry.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The ISA get highly accurate, highly damaging revolvers for the sequel. Although many players are quick to discard it in favor of the Helghast pistol, mostly due to ammo and fire rate issues. The background fluff states that the revolver was originally only for ceremonial purposes but the ISA had to switch from the semi-auto pistol back to the revolver due to the protacted Helghast blockade leading to equipment shortages.
    • They're useless in higher difficulties, taking anywhere from three to twelve shots (hope you like reloading) to kill a standard infantryman, while your opponent is quickly filling you with lead. The zoom-in feature is pretty short, so you have to have a big screen to snipe properly.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Filler material on The Killzone website states the intentions of the ISA invasion of Helghan in the second game were to: "Remove the Helghast as a military threat. Capture Autarch Visari for a public trial. Establish a more easily controlled regime on Helghan that avoids the oppression that sparked this conflict." Switch four words in that quote and you have the Iraq War.
  • Samus Is a Girl: According to the novelization, at least some of the Elite Shock Troopers are women.
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: The VC8 Shotgun Pistol from Killzone 3 is essentially this.
  • Scenery Porn: Some of the shots of Vekta City in Shadow Fall are absolutely gorgeous.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Sev in Killzone 3. He's generally a balancing factor to Rico and has no problem following Narville's orders, even if they seem counter-intuitive. Until the end, when he's fed-up with Narville's attitude towards orders and saving his own men.
    • In Shadow Fall, Kellan disobeys Sinclair's order to kill Echo, instead opting to work together with her to stop Stahl and Tyran.
  • Secondary Fire: The first game had these: The ISA assault rifle had a grenade launcher, the Helghast assault rifle had an underbarrel shotgun, the anti-tank gun in the multiplayer had double-tap, etc. Lost in the sequel to make way for the grenade button, which was in turned moved to accommodate the melee button ; the shotgun still has an alt-fire flashlight, though, since for some reason it entirely lacks a sight. The ISA rifle's grenade launcher becomes a flashlight [which doesn't actually do anything] and the Helghast rifle has its shotgun replaced with an enlarged handgrip under the barrel. They also switch from respectively having a circular reflex sight and a G36-style carry handle / sight combo [both unusable] to a real-life EOTech reflex sight and illuminated iron sight.
    • The coolest was probably the chain gun, which had an underslung rocket launcher.
    • And the Helghast rocket launcher's alt fire, which consisted of it firing all three tubes at once.
    • The feature makes a return in Shadow Fall. The pistol has a three-round burst, the LSR has a Charged Attack, and the Keyzer comes with either a grenade launcher or shotgun.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Templar sometimes quotes Dirty Harry and The A-Team during battle.
    • In Killzone 2, the scene where Radec confronts Templar can be described as: "A high ranking Dragon wearing an elaborate mask and a dark uniform, comes aboard an enemy ship flanked by two troopers, as an ominous music cue plays." Sound familiar?
    • The armors worn by the Helghast are heavily reminiscent of Protect Gears from Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade.
    • The Helghast themselves take their name from the undead shapeshifters of the Lone Wolf gamebook series (a self-referential example, as Lone Wolf's creator, Joe Dever, also wrote the backstory for Killzone).
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Colonel Hakha does this to General Lente with a shotgun shell in the first game.
    • Also done to General Adams who tries a "Not So Different" Remark on him.
      General Adams: "There is never any pity, no mercy, for the traitor."
      Colonel Hakha: "You try to compare us?... You made a choice, General, based on your own goals and morals. As did I. We may both seem traitors by our outside appearance, but that is where our common ground ends."
    • Also Rico to Visari in Killzone 2. Sev later admits he would have done the same with his fist if Visari wouldn't have shut up.
  • Skyscraper City: Vekta City, as shown in Shadow Fall, to enough of a degree to make Dubai look like an American Rust Belt city.
  • Smug Snake: General Adams in Killzone, who is also The Mole.
    • Jorhan Stahl in Killzone 3, but unlike Adams he is actually intimidating.
  • Sniper Pistol: The ISA's silenced M66 Machine Pistol.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The Helghast tend to act like this. Their battle cries include both verbose threats like "I'll rip the skin from your bones!" and lines like "Oh, FUCK me!"
  • Space Marine: Both the ISA and the Helghast count as these.
    • Heck, the invading ISA force on Helghan are even called the ISA Marines.
  • The Squad: The main characters in the first game and Alpha Squad in the sequel.
  • The Starscream: Chairman Stahl in Killzone 3 has his own private army, and is clearly operating with an agenda separate from the rest of the Helghast leadership. The novelization of Killzone 3 makes it clear that Stahl secretly holds Visari and his heirs in contempt, considering them all hypocrites.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: The first mission after the six-month Time Skip in Killzone 3 has you sneaking through a Helghast-infested forest to reach a satellite uplink. Getting spotted won't fail the mission, but it will summon Capture Troopers, which will make things much more difficult.
  • The Stinger / Sequel Hook: Halfway through the credits of Killzone 3, a small contingent of Helghast soldiers are seen patrolling some ruins when they stumble upon an escape pod, presumably piloted by Stahl, implying that a small number of Helghast may have survived their homeworld's destruction.
  • Storming the Castle: Done by both sides in Killzone 2. First by the Helghast against your flagship, the New Sun and the second time by you, when after calling an orbital bombardment on the lightning tower air defences, you storm Visari's palace, going through line after line of sandbag defences, emplacements, and artillery strikes (and this is just the palace courtyard) after rounding up all what remains of the ISA forces. And both levels are also insanely awesome.
    • You do it again in 3 when you attack the orbital elevator that gets you to the station closest to the Helghast fleet. It is also awesome.
  • Stuck Items: The LSR 44 from Shadow Fall can't be swapped out for another weapon.
  • Stylish Protection Gear: The Helghast uniform in the first game, they needed the gas masks and goggles as they were not used to the atmosphere on Vekta. But in the second game it's been upgraded into a symbol of pride as they used it as their military uniform on their home planet even though technically they wouldn't need it.
  • Suicide by Cop: Some theorize that Visari was coaxing Sev and Rico to kill him to spur the Helghast into crushing the ISA at the end of Killzone 2.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Happens to Kellan, of all people, in "Shadow Fall".
  • The Smurfette Principle: Other than Luger and Evelyn, the games are devoid of women.
    • The third game has Jammer, the only woman in the entire game besides Visari's daughter, who only appears in the game's opening cinematic. Doesn't help that Jammer is treated like she had always been there, which enhances the feeling she was just added for the quota.
      • There is that female comms officer who Sev talks to when he and Rico kill two soldiers and take their place to infiltrate Stahl's facility.
      • You can also hear a female Helghast comm officer abord the Dropship after Sev got captured.
  • Tainted Veins: All Helghans. Showed up on the first human colonists.
  • Take Cover!: The second and third games have a stick-to-cover mechanic, which form a core aspect of the gameplay. Shadow Fall uses the same system-except that you can't take cover behind any object higher than chest-height.
  • Tank Goodness: Colonel Cobar uses a tank against you in Liberation.
    • You even get to use tanks in 2.
      • The thing you get to use is an IFV.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Visari uses one in Killzone 2.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Garza's amazing power of opening doors. To quote him, you "open the panel and pull all the wires out."
    • Debatable, since looking at him while he does it shows him tinkering with it rather than doing what he told Natko to do. It's probably more complex than that, but with the bleeding to death from his neck, he just gave the simplest trick and hoped the door's locks fail.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: What Shadow Fall does for the Helghast... from a story perspective, anyway. Granted, some may argue that considering that the Helghast have repeated Kick the Dog moments, it doesn't qualify, but oddly enough, that's why it does. It gets rid of said Kick the Dog moments, and shows the whole species in a more sympathetic light after years of fans pointing out that the Helghast have a rather tragic backstory. This even happens in the backstory, with the gift of half of Vekta to the Helghast likely being an in-universe reaction of "Oh, shit. We've gone too far."
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • If Luger lowers her voice, make sure that a) you're not within 50 feet of her, and b) you're not the object of her ire.
    • Colonel Radec.
      Radec: "Do not... toy with me." BANG!
  • Unbroken First-Person Perspective: Mercenary takes place entirely from Danner's perspective.
    • Shadow Fall also utilizes this, never leaving first-person view outside of the first and last cutscenes.
  • Unique Enemy: In the first game, a single Laser Designator Helghast appears, at the end of Chapter 7. In Killzone 2, only a handful of Elite Shock Troopers appear in the entire game, all in a single level. In Killzone 3, there are only 2 of them in the entire game. Killzone 3 has Stahl's Elite Mooks (Capture Troopers and Hazmat Troopers), who appear frequently in cutscenes but only appear vey rarely in actual gameplay.
  • Unorthodox Reload: Helghast weaponry, most especially the pistol. Virtually ever piece of Helghast weaponry uses a drum or a cylinder to hold ammunition.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Unlike the rest of the series, Mercenary doesn't allow you to pick up weapons dropped by your enemies. The only way to change weapons is to use one of Blackjack's armory stations.
  • Vektans Can Breathe on Helghan: When the I.S.A. forces counter-attack the Helghast and land forces on Helghan, they wear surprisingly little environmental gear, despite Helghan's well-known harsh atmosphere. Harsh enough that they should find it as difficult to breath there as the Helghasts do on other worlds (hence why they wore the iconic Helghast gas masks in their earlier invasion of Vekta.) The I.S.A. forces also deploy from capital ships hovering high in the Helghan atmosphere in open-topped Drop Ships at a level where the air would be thin and windchill a major factor. None of them show discomfort.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: During Shadow Fall, Kellan has several opportunities to help Helghast civilians.
    • The ability to revive fallen teammates in 2 and 3 was presumably meant to invoke this. However, downed teammates will automatically revive whenever all of the enemies in the area are dead, which means there's no point in leaving cover and exposing yourself to gunfire to tend to them. To make matters worse, they will constantly radio you to plead for help until they're revived, adding an extra layer of annoyance.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: SO much in part 2. You can set Higs ablaze with the Flamethrower, and smile as they shriek in agony. You can pin their heads to the wall with explosive nails. Or, perhaps best of all, you can shock the living shit out of them with the Lightning Gun. The noises they make from THAT will put a dopey grin on your face every time.
  • Waif-Fu: Subverted. In Killzone 3 Action Girl Jammer tries to fight a Helghast soldier (and not even an Elite, just a basic Mook) in hand-to-hand with some spin-kicks, and gets pretty much owned. She's only saved by Mauve Shirt Hooper who takes out the Helghast mook with a much more direct rifle bash to the face. Jammer's much better with a gun or behind the wheel.
  • Walk It Off
  • War for Fun and Profit: For the Earth megacorporations, the Fantastic Racism war between Vektans and Helghast is just a simple and efficient way of making money and power off people's suffering and covering it up in blood and dirt. The Helghast are all but enslaved to their dictator, convinced that they live in perestroika when they're just blindly worshiping their slave leaders. Said dictator is a massive hypocrite who arranges good trade in natural resources (Helghast are a mining people) in exchange for the megacorporations protecting his ass. The war itself ensures that nobody is looking at the megacorporations, while also fueling a demand for advanced military technology, which can easily be used to intimidate the civilian populace (as seen in Shadow Fall). For everyone else, it's death and suffering. So when a lone Vektan cold-shots the dictator of Helghan and the Helghast fanatics start using alien technology that the megacorporations underestimated, shit starts getting REAL.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Happens on both sides in Killzone 3. The Helghast leadership is split between Orlock and Stahl, eventually triggering a full on Enemy Civil War in orbit of Helghan. And for the ISA remnants, Rico and Narville are constantly at odds over how they should conduct their guerilla war, with Sev stuck trying to mediate and keep them on-mission.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Shadow Marshal Luger and Colonel Hakha aren't anywhere to be seen in the rest of the Killzone games. Supposedly, Hakha retired to Vekta, and Shadow Marshals tend to get shunted off to do non-battlefield stuff.
    • Curiously Hahka's actor, Sean Pertwee, portrays Radec in the sequel.
    • Natko, one of the member of The Squad in the second game, is completely absent from Killzone 3, serving only as the skin to the second player in co-op mode.
    • At the beginning of the third game, Rico touches a bunch of irradiated petrusite. It never becomes a problem later.
    • The surviving cast of Killzone 2 & 3 are never seen or mentioned in Shadow Fall. Given that they now share a planet with an entire race that's out to lynch them, it's likely they had to go into hiding for the rest of their lives.
      • Confirmed in a collectible piece of intel in Shadow Fall.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Multiple people yell at Rico in 2 and 3 for his dumbass decisions, such as getting Garza killed and killing Scolar Visari.
  • Worthy Opponent: Captain Narville sees Colonel Radec as one.
    • And Radec might have seen Templar as one if this line is anything to go by.
    Radec: "I'd rather we met in combat, like soldiers."
    • In the first game, General Adams tries this with Hakha, declaring them not so different. Hakha begs to differ.
  • You All Look Familiar: A huge criticism of the first game. There were a total of three enemy types - assault rifle, shotgun, and heavy gunner. Except for one level where you catch the Helghans off-guard at a temporary shelter and they're partially out of their combat gear, they're all the same. This also applied to the ISA soldier models, one particularly humorous instance being when General Adams kills his communication officier, only for an identical fellow to report to him in the next cutscene. The sequel greatly increased the enemy roster and gave the ISA grunts generic mostly face-covering helmets to make their identical nature less conspicuous.
  • You Know I'm Black, Right?: In Mercenary, when you're fighting alongside the Harkin's bodyguard Boris to evacuate Justus, he makes a derogatory remark about Vektans. Justus responds by reminding Boris that he's half-Vektan.
  • Your Mom: Natko gives off jokes like these.
  • Zeerust: Killzone 2. Your weapons look like they belong in 2020, not three centuries later, and not even with any fancy attachments, as compared to the first game. There are no drop pods. the Helghast switch from hovertanks to conventional ones (which are retrofitted/modified mining vehicles). There are no lasers, except for those in space. There isn't even any "netrocentric" crap, walking mecha suits, or UCAV, except for the Helghast. This is especially evident in the ISA gear, where what was once heavy body armor and a metallic "collar" are now light vests, PAGST helmets, and an orange sweater.
    • The ISA is not the most powerful faction in the Killzone universe, that's the UCN back in the Sol system. The UCN intentionally restricts ultra advanced weapons to the ISA, to ensure even a full scale uprising by ALL of the colonies at once would be unable to defeat them. The ISA Intruder for example, the unarmored, unsafe drop vehicle, is literally a repurposed cargo lift with machineguns bolted to it.
    • In the case of the Helghast, it may be justified by them sending their best equipped armies to Vekta for the invasion, and being forced to leave their tech behind when the it failed. The forces defending Helghan are reserves that were equipped with whatever they could bring out of mothballs to repel the ISA.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Killzone Shadow Fall, Killzone 3, Killzone 2, Killzone Liberation


Colonel Radec

Known as "Visari's Hound", Col. Radec will not hesitate to dispatch an enemy to fulfil his Autarch's will. Even one of the series previous Protagonists.

How well does it match the trope?

4.87 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / NoNonsenseNemesis

Media sources: