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Video Game / Metal Slug Code J

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You only get to play as Tarma, Eri and Fio after unlocking them, though.

Metal Slug: Code J is a 2021 video game produced by SNK, with collaboration from TiMi Studios (a subsidiary of Tencent Games) for the iOS and Android.

A remake of SNK's 90s' classic shooter, Metal Slug, the game rehashes most of the plot from the original series, but with only one playable character from the start — Marco Rossi from the original game, where Marco's allies, Tarma, Fio and Eri, are only available after being unlocked.

In the aftermath of a botched mission to arrest General Morden — namely, attempting to pursue the fleeing Morden who had boarded the Big Shiee, before a nuke attack interrupts the battle and knocks Marco out cold — Marco finds himself separated from his three allies. Now alone, Marco will need to track down General Morden in various levels recycled from the original games.


See also Contra Returns, by the same developer.

Metal Slug: Code J contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: All four of the main characters get a generous dose of this thanks to a new art style that pays homage to their original cartoony designs, but significantly tones down their more exaggerated, downright grotesque aspects (especially Marco and Eri). The characters are slicked-up and even go through visible Adaptational Curves as seen in their intro, especially notable for Eri whose debut have the camera focusing on her... uhm, assets.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • The player characters, whom are no longer the One-Hit-Point Wonder from the original games. This time each player comes with their own Health Bar and can survive multiple gunshots, or at least getting hit by two tank rounds, before they die. Justified because unlike the original which is an arcade game, the remake on the other hand runs on checkpoints.
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    • This trope actually plays both ways, with rebel soldiers each having their own health bars. Now basic enemies don't die in just one hit, with the damage varying depending on the weapons the player is using (for context, it takes two Flame Shot rounds to cause enough damage to kill a single rebel). Also shielded rebel soldiers, upon having their shields shot off, no longer panic like idiots, rather they continue attacking the players a second after their protection is blown.
    • Remember the first R-Shobu from the original game's Villeneuve Mt. System, way back in Mission 1? It's been upgraded from just a mook to a Mini-Boss, capable of spamming missiles and machine-gun rounds all over the area. It's also built with multiple life-bars which Marco needs to deplete before finally going down. Although later on common R-Shobu turns up as regular enemies.
    • The Mosque Artillery from Metal Slug 2 is a mid-level Mini-Boss that attacks with slow-moving missiles, and has pathetic health to boot; a rookie can destroy all three of these turrets while suffering minimal to zero health loss. But in the remake they are much more durable, they can fire even more missiles at a frequent and unpredictable rate, and once their health are reduced to half, they begin launching waves of artilleries that comes at the players at a straight line. The remake effectively turns a Zero-Effort Boss into a Wake-Up Call Boss for players.
    • Mummy enemies from the pyramid levels are noticeably stronger and more durable than the original games, and it takes at least two Flame Shot rounds to even kill one. Additionally the original series' mummies are only capable of attacking from close range, but in the remake there are mummies which can launch projectile attacks (in the form of balls of mummifying gas) from a distance, or vomit mummifying smoke that covers half the screen.
    • The Iron Nokana's and Dragon Nosuke's bottom flamethrower in the original can be avoided by running backwards in the original games. But in this remake both their flamethrowers have been upgraded to the point where it can actually cover the other side of the screen, for just a few seconds, necessitating the players to run backwards and jump to avoid getting incinerated. No doubt players unaware of this new upgrade would suffer some health loss when fighting either of these two bosses.
    • The Big Shiee, during both it's battles, gains a new ability to spam missiles from both sides of the screen thanks to having multiple missile launchers attached on its sides, where players will have to shoot down its missiles while avoiding its cannons.
    • Big John from the original series, considered one of the easiest bosses of the franchise, gets an upgrade as well. Its descending claws now has the ability to electrify its surroundings, and its fireball launcher can fire multiple projectiles at a much faster rate, as well as having a powerful and hard-to-dodge energy beam the original version lacks.
  • Adaptation Deviation: The original games' level in Ronbertburg City have a memorable moment where players gets the Flame Shot after killing a sergeant — right as parachuting rebels start descending from the skies, allowing the players to roast numerous enemies before they hit the ground. This remake however substituted the Flame Shot with the introduction of the Ice Shot — so instead of raining Men on Fire, it's raining Human Popsicle(s).
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • The very first boss players (as Marco, the sole playable hero at the time) will encounter is the Big Shiee, who in the original series doesn't show up until more than halfway through 2 (during the Hong Kong level, Mission 4). Subverted that you don't actually fight it to the death; rather, halfway through the boss battle, a nuke suddenly blows up the arena and stops the battle entirely; and then you get to fight it in a rematch in a re-enactment of the original game's Hong Kong level.
    • The first unlockable character in the remake is Fio, who shows up in the Villeneuve Mt. System lifted from the original series' first level. In the series proper Fio doesn't appear until Metal Slug 2.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: The Black Hound tank, who shows up as a boss in several levels, is implied to be a weapon made by Morden's Rebels, since it's original creators, the Ptolemaic Army, is nowhere present in the game.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Although the Ptolemaic Army from Metal Slug 5 is present, the guerilla's (the first type of Ptolemaic soldier encountered) are nowhere to be seen at all. This includes the Ptolemaic snipers, and the cultists.
    • The pyramid levels from Metal Slug 2/X is re-created faithfully as well, with the Aeshi Nero's tower visible in the background... but surprise surprise, the Aeshi Nero is not in the game. Rather, after defeating the last batch of mummies at the tower's foot, you're suddenly attacked by the Black Hound, and after defeating it you're then greeted with the "Mission Complete" screen without even facing the Aeshi Nero.
    • The next level where you attack the rebel depot on the train is included in the remake, but the segment where you're attacked by three Hammer-Yangs from under a bridge is skipped over. As a Bait-and-Switch, the scene remake zooms out to show the player on a bridge over waters (much like the original), and just as players are bracing themselves for another tough battle, the game suddenly zooms back in to the players.
  • Adaptational Wimp
    • The rebel air force gets hit by this trope, hard. While rebel planes like the Flying Tara and Eaca-B aren't that strong to begin with, in this remake they're practically made of cardboard, getting shot out of the air by a handful of machine-gun rounds. For perspective, the scenario in 1 on the rooftops of Ronbertburg City where players battle three Eaca-Bs is replayed by... players battling dozens and dozens of the same airplane models, which they destroy three to five at a time thanks to their machine-gun / Ice Shot.
    • The same thing can be said for the rebel's light helicopter variants, the MH-6S Masknell, whose firing rate has been deceased compared to their original counterparts. And thanks to the player being more durable and granted the ability to attack diagonally, returning fire is much easier. The Masknell Squadron (where five of them, led by a red Regimental Masknell) who shows up occasionally is also a breeze compared to the original games, as their ability to spread bullets all over the screen is replaced by the lead Masknell launching bullets in one concentrated location instead.
    • Downplayed example with the Tani-Oh, which use Gatling guns and landmines much like it's original counterpart. However, its landmines doesn't explode on contact, and only blows up after three seconds, meaning players can simply waltz over them while attacking the Tani-Oh. And since this time players can attack downwards without resorting to pressing the down, jump and shoot buttons at the same time, they can damage the Tani-Oh's while running around the area, making the boss battle considerably easier.
    • The Keesi, unlike the original, doesn't have flunkies assisting it. And thanks to the boss arena being expanded, when the Keesi start using its Weaponized Exhaust the player can simply run to a corner of the area, where the exhaust's flames won't be able to reach them, and return fire from their safe position (unlike the original where players need to be constantly running to avoid getting incinerated). Granted, the Keesi can drop a napalm strike this time, but that one only covers a single portion of the arena and isn't that difficult to avoid.
  • Badass Biker: Tarma, much like the original incarnation, favours a motorcycle as his transport. While playing as Tarma in certain levels you can actually have him speeding around on a bike while kicking all kinds of ass, an element absent in the original games.
  • Compressed Adaptation: For most of the part, the remake adapts the plot of the first four Metal Slug games (1,2,X,3) with elements borrowed from sequels occasionally peppered throughout its stages, basically compressing the entire franchise into a single game.
  • Deadly Disc: Allan O'Neil in the remake comes equipped with this weapon, in addition to his machine-gun and grenades — notably, his machine-gun have a razor-sharp circular disc protuding from it's front that deals additional damage to the heroes if they fail to avoid in time.
  • Death from Above:
    • The first boss battle against the Big Shiee is interrupted by a nuke that drops on the arena. Subverted when Marco survives the incident, and comes back in the next level after an unspecified Time Skip in the Villeneuve Mt. System.
    • The Keesi, upon having enough health depleted, will retaliate by descending and revealing a massive cannon on it's snout, that drops a napalm strike right underneath it (a trait absent in the original games). It's not really as tough as it sounds though, dodging that napalm attack is just a matter of running to the corner of the screen.
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: Averted — this time you can have your player character shooting diagonally and in any direction you want by tapping on the screen. It makes a lot of difficult bosses from the original games a lot easier.
  • Disney Death: Fio after the Hairbuster Riberts boss fight, from falling off a helicopter. She gets better.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • Rebel sergeants dressed in yellow fatigues appears in several levels, and unlike the original games, this time they live up to their reputation — it takes at least ten bullets to even kill a sergeant, and they tend to have faster speed when attacking players.
    • The "special" mummies who can launch projectiles from a distance probably counts as well.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The first level have Marco successfully tracking down General Morden, who had boarded the Big Shiee, and is about to escape. Unfortunately it's impossible to capture Morden no matter what — while battling the Big Shiee a nuke suddenly drops and separates Marco from pursuing Morden.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Elder Centipede that attacks in another pyramid level can be counted as this; in the original series, the Elder Centipede is an attacking unit serving the Invaders, but as the Invaders isn't in the remake the Elder Centipede seems to pop up right when players aren't exactly expecting to fight it.
  • The Great Serpent: The guardian / boss of the pyramid's inner sanctum, Apep the great serpent, is a giant water-dwelling cobra who attacks players on floating islets from underneath. The player characters needs to jump from one platform to another to avoid getting devoured, while firing back at Apep. Once Apep's health is down to its last bar though it simply swims away rather than fighting players to the death.
  • Kill It with Ice: The Ice Shot is a new weapon in this remake, which releases a continuous stream of freezing mist that turn enemy rebels into Human Popsicles with lethal results. Used against tanks and the entire vehicle will be frozen solid before shattering apart seconds later.
  • Macross Missile Massacre:
    • Numerous bosses are outfitted with additional missile launchers, including the Big Shiee and the Hairbuster Riberts. In the case of the Mosque Artillery (which is already this trope in the original series) they can fire twice the amount of missiles on the heroes.
    • Marco himself have a missile dispenser in his backpack, which can be activated by achieving his Limit Break, resulting in a dozen missiles blasting nearby enemies. It's very useful against bosses.
  • Mirror Boss: Allan O'Neil makes a comeback and battles the players just like in the original games, and additionally there is another Mini-Boss called the Mercenary, a human-sized opponent who spam grenade attacks at the players. Although the Mercenary isn't anywhere as fast or as deadly compared to Allan O'Neil.
  • Parachute in a Tree: This is where players, as Marco, first encounter Fio — stuck in a tree at the Villeneuve Mt. System level, in the background of the R-Shobu mini-boss fight. Since she's stranded in mid-air she's pretty much helpless, and she gets unstuck when the R-Shobu crashes at the base of the tree, resulting in a massive explosion that sends the poor girl out of the tree before landing painfully several meters away (it's one of those instances where onscreen injuries are played for laughs though, and Fio gets up looking more embarassed than actually hurt).
  • Player Versus Player: An unlockable option in the game, where you can pit your player in an online arena against two or more challengers elsewhere in the world. Weapons, vehicles and power-ups are provided for participants to eliminate each other for extra points and bonuses.
  • Recurring Boss:
    • Big Shiee is fought twice, with the first battle (in Mission 1) interrupted by a nuke separating Marco and the boss. It returns in the Hong Kong level for a second battle, this time to the death.
    • The Black Hound, in addition to showing up in the pyramids, also appears in more than one area, where the players will have to defeat it multiple times throughout the course of the game.
  • Riddling Sphinx: Visiting the desert ruins a second time and the Sphinx (which only shows up in the original games as a background) has been converted into a mechanized enemy, who attack players with eye-lasers and missiles. Players need to solve it's riddles while avoiding attacks, and the battle ends when all three riddles are solved, at which point the Sphinx deactivates.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The final boss in the pyramid, Moro's Legacy, which is described as "an ancient, dormant superweapon which suddenly became active", is the game's counterpart to the Monoeye UFO. It surrounds itself with blocks of sentient crystal shards which circles the arena while blasting players with energy balls (not unlike the Monoeyes) and once all the shards are defeated, Moro's core then activates and attacks by dropping monoliths. Be warned though — unlike the Monoeye UFO, Moro's Legacy is capable of dropping two monoliths at the same time, as well as firing energy blasts of its own.
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: Zig-zagged — the Flame Shot in the remake seems to be closer to it's incarnation from the first game, where it's only capable of firing a single weak fireball that does minor damages to tanks and vehicles. However, it's been granted infinite ammunition, and by holding on the firing button players can launch a Charged Attack, resulting in a Ring of Fire projectile that does wonders on bosses.
  • Waterfall Shower: The first level in Villeneuve Mt. added a moment where Marco interrupts two rebels which are bathing themselves under a waterfall, who predictably flee when Marco starts shooting at them.