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Video Game / Medal of Honor: Rising Sun

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"Survive the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor...Battle through the Jungles of Guadalcanal, to the streets of Singapore. Experience the powerful realities of war...with more than 20 authentic World War II weapons. Encounter intense Banzai Charges. Fight alongside Battle-hardened Allies. Featuring Co-op multiplayer modes. Defeat the Japanese Empire!"
— Narration from one of the game's trailers

Medal of Honor: Rising Sun is the 5th installment in the Medal of Honor series, coming immediately after Frontline and released in 2003 on the Playstation 2, Xbox and the Nintendo Gamecube.

The game follows Corporal Joseph Griffin, who was a US Marine that witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbour and his adventures in the Pacific Theater following the assault. After serving in the Philippines and Guadalcanal, he was later recruited by the OSS to stop a Japanese plot involving Yamashita's gold. The game was slightly ahead of its time as unlike previous games, it was more narrative-driven as the plot progresses in-game rather than between missions a la Half-Life, though it did not fare as well compared to Frontline. A sequel was planned, however the idea was cancelled.

Tropes that apply for this game:

  • Artistic License History: "Fall of the Philippines" has this twice.
    • American Marines are shown using the M1 Garand rifle, however most units stationed in the Philippines were still using the Springfield rifle until later in the war when orders for the American Army had been filled.
    • Japanese troops were also using pole mines to try to stop an American tank. Despite the fact that the Japanese didn't use such tactics until the tide of war had shifted against them.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: A Japanese bomb hits the USS Arizona in its forward powder magazine, detonating it and splitting the ship in two.
  • Battleship Raid: The final level involves Griffin, Tanaka, and Bromley infiltrating, raiding, and sabotaging a Japanese aircraft carrier.
  • Bayonet Ya: As part of Japanese doctrine, almost every Arisaka in the game has a bayonet attached to it. It does a lot of damage too if you get too close.
  • Bittersweet Ending: You foiled Shima's plans by sinking the carrier full of stolen gold. However, Tanaka is killed by Shima, and your brother is taken away by him.
  • Book Ends: The first and last levels both involve a Sinking Ship Scenario, though for different circumstances. "Day of Infamy" had Griffin try to protect the USS California from Japanese aircraft, while "Supercarrier Sabotage" had Griffin trying to destroy a Japanese aircraft carrier then escaping on a plane.
  • Call-Back: Singapore Sling follows the more memorable plot points of the infiltration missions of Frontline, namely disguising as a Nazi officer to infiltrate a heavily-guarded building by taking his uniform, leaving said officer in his t-shirt and underpants, only for said officer to arrive at the worst possible moment, call the player an imposter, and blowing his cover.
  • Collapsing Lair: The Burma temple that Shima is storing his gold in is rocked from all the fighting in "In Search of Yamashita's Gold", and Joe must avoid being crushed by a falling Buddha statue while helping a prisoner escape.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Pearl Harbor, and to an extent the Philippines campaign, where it's pretty obvious from the start that the American forces are caught off guard, and are fighting against better-prepared and better-trained Japanese forces.
  • Curb-Stomp Cushion: Despite being on the losing side of the early Pacific war battles, Joseph Griffin and the other US Marines manage to inflict heavy Japanese casualties enough to either delay their advances or force them to break off an attack on occasion.
  • The Empire: A significant change from the previous Medal Of Honor games is the fact that you fight the Empire of Japan, rather than Nazi Germany.
  • Expy: Gunny Lauton, who is more or less a heroic and combat-experienced Sgt. Hartman.
  • Gratuitous German: One Japanese soldier in "Singapore Sling" can be heared saying "Guten Tag". Justified since Singapore is hosting an Axis summit with German officers attending.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The first part of the game is a Battle Epic that focuses on the US Marine Corps in their battles against the Japanese forces. Then, Joe gets transferred to the OSS midway into the game, and the action soon shifts from the Pacific to Japanese-occupied territories in Southeast Asia, with the plot borrowing many elements from a spy thriller.
  • Historical Domain Character: In "Pistol Pete Showdown", you get to meet Martin Clemens. Who was an actual Coastwatcher that served in the war.
  • Karma Houdini: Commander Shima, who was the only antagonist in the Second World War to escape your grasp.
  • Jungle Warfare: It is set in the Pacific Theater after all. Where you will engage the Japanese forces in places like the Guadalcanal, and the Burmese jungle.
  • Nazi Gold: A variation in that this is gold looted by members of the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy. It becomes a central plot point in the second half of the game, where the OSS is tasked with stopping the shipment of said gold.
  • Obvious Beta: Has its share of obvious bugs all throughout the campaign and the story itself often lacks focus, introducing and then doing away with plot elements that simply don't amount to much in the long run, which probably contributed to the game's lukewarm reception.
  • Save Point: Scattered across any level are radios that you can use to save your progress.
  • Semper Fi: Joseph Griffin was already a US Marine before he was transferred to the OSS. The first half of the game also focuses on the Marines.
  • Sequel Hook: Rising Sun ends on a cliffhanger designed to serve as a lead-in to a sequel, but the sequel was canned due to the game's mediocre sales and the plotline was left in limbo (although the ending to the PSP game Medal of Honor: Heroes implies Griffin was able to successfully rescue his brother).
  • Sergeant Rock: Sgt. Jack "Gunny" Lauton, also Griffin after transferring to the OSS.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Gunny's weapon of choice is a Winchester Model 1912 shotgun. Griffin also get to use it during his time in Burma and Thailand.
  • Shout-Out: Quite a few to a number of World War II films set in the Pacific.
    • "A Bridge on the River Kwai" is a blatant reference to The Bridge on the River Kwai.
    • The destruction of the USS Arizona seems to be a combination of how Tora! Tora! Tora! and Pearl Harbor depicted it. While the angle at which the moment is shown is similar to the latter, being depicted exploding and breaking in two as seen from the port side, the attack run of the Japanese bombers on the ship is more in line with the former, with several planes dropping several bombs rather than just a single aircraft dropping one bomb.
  • Sinking Ship Scenario: The fates of at least two American battleships in Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona and Oklahoma, which become total losses when the attack is over. The USS California is a subversion, as while she's heavily damaged by Japanese bombers, she's later refloated, repaired, modernized, and sent back into service within a year or two following the attack. The finale had Griffin sabotaging the Japanese aircraft carrier Toshikaze, and having to fight his way out to escape on a plane.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: "Singapore Sling", which has you trying to infiltrate an Axis meeting.
  • Token Enemy Minority: Private Ichiro Tanaka is a Japanese nisei (second-generation immigrant) born in Hawaii. His Japanese lineage allows him to infiltrate the enemy's strongholds with ease.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Other than a few instances, you cannot use any of the Japanese weapons other than the stationary machine guns.
  • Urban Warfare: "Fall of the Philippines" has the town of Calumpit, Bulacan, where Griffin and other US Marines are tasked with delaying advancing Japanese Army troops by blowing up a bridge in the town.
  • Wham Shot: The destruction of the USS Arizona counts, as it's depicted as a sudden, violent moment that Griffin and company witness, and ends just as fast as it happened.
    "Oh my God! We've lost the Arizona!"