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Video Game / Micro Machines

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Developed by Codemasters, the Micro Machines games took the popular children's toys and turned them into a top-down racer set in a Macro Zone. Whether racing 4x4s on the breakfast table or F1 cars in the games room, the Micro Machines series has a great combination of fun, amusing details (such as the cereal boxes with "100% Artificial Ingredients" written on them) and multiplayer madness.

The games are notable for their main multiplayer mode where players all share the same screen. Instead of being a first-to-the-finish race, players are eliminated if they trail too far behind, until only one player is left standing. That player then scores a point, everyone is brought back into play at that spot, and another round begins. The players keep racing around the course until one has scored enough points to win.

  • Micro Machines (first released as an unlicensed NES cart)
  • Micro Machines 2 Turbo Tournament
  • Micro Machines Turbo Tournament '96
  • Micro Machines: Military (basically Micro Machines for military junkies, or people who enjoyed the tank levels a lot)
  • Micro Machines V3 (the first 3D game in the series)
  • Micro Machines 64 Turbo (V3 for the Nintendo 64)
  • Micro Maniacs (featured small people-like thingsnote  rather than cars).
  • Micro Machines
  • Micro Machines V4 (the first game that allowed you to choose your own cars for all races, unfortunately balanced by the removal of characters.)
  • Micro Machines: World Series

This game series provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    The series as a whole 
  • All There in the Manual: Some lengthy character descriptions and backstories, among other things.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Anne, Mike, Joel and Emilio mysteriously disappeared between the original and V3. Not counting all the new characters brought in the games inbetween.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In the first game, particularly the destruction cars, the computers have a considerably faster acceleration than you.
  • Cool Car: A whole plethora of them. Rally cars, drag racers, Formula One cars, police cars, tanks. All fun to drive.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: The characters were updated for the re-release. Some of the more boring characters were removed. For instance, Jethro, who just happened to be black in the original, seems to be from Jamaica and a fan of reggae.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Anyone with a basic knowledge of the English language would assume that is is indeed about small automobiles/aircraft/combat vehicles/whatever they think are "machines".
  • The Generic Guy: Anne. Also Mike, to a lesser extent. Tellingly, neither of them made it through to V3.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Violet in Turbo Tournament is based off of Violet Berlin, a British journalist who is well known for being a presenter on the show Bad Influence, which talked about upcoming games in the early 90's.
  • Level Ate: Several racing environments, from the kitchen to the breakfast table to eating out at restaurants.
  • Level Editor: Included in Micro Machines 2 for the PC, and Micro Machines Turbo Tournament 96 for the Genesis
  • Macro Zone: Naturally.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Spider is essentially The Fonz.
  • 1-Up: In the first game, get three wins in a row then complete the bonus stage in the time limit.
  • Palmtree Panic: The dune buggy levels. Pails and sand castles serve as obstacles, and the tracks are drawn in the sand.
  • Player Elimination: The first game eliminates AI players that rank last. Human players are instead eliminated if they fail to place within the top two (and retry the current race).
  • Rubber-Band A.I.:
    • In the original game, a car that was behind you would be faster than if it was in front of you. It didn't matter how far ahead/behind they were, however, so if that wasn't enough, there was no further help coming. It also featured a rather hilarious, and unintentional, inversion: if you put the fastest drivers in the fastest cars, the speed boost from being behind would be more than the AI could handle, causing the cars to leave the track and fall even further behind.
    • The games had another catch-up mechanic in the form of the game's camera; the further ahead the player is, the less they can see in front of them, putting them at a disadvantage unless they had the track memorized.
  • Spiritual Successor: The series actually has a modern day successor under the name "Toybox Turbos", released in 2014.
  • Sticky Situation: The oil slicks don't seem to have as much of an effect compared to the water bubbles in the same track. Those bubbles were really glue spills that slow down the cars.
  • Stylistic Suck: Nicknames that compliment the characters such as Ace Spider and Fab Bonnie eventually become mediocre things such as Able Chen and Fair Anne, and ultimately insults like Poor Dwayne and Dire Walter.
  • Toy Time: Again, several racing environments, from the sandpit to the bedroom to the games room.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Not directly, but it sure is easier to place in the faster races if you know the maps.
  • Vehicular Combat: The tanks in the first game can shoot (meaning the best thing you can do is take an early lead and then run the rest of the race backwards - tanks are equally slow in both directions), and the various weapons in the 3D games.

    Specific to Micro Maniacs 
  • Back Story: Every character is given one. There are a lot of accidents.
    • V4 was in a motorcycle accident.
    • Pyra had a lab accident involving combustion.
    • Maw-Maw is a Mix and Match Critter.
    • Twister was a crazy twit.
    • Beatbox was a DJ who wanted to be able to play more effectively with elements of The Spook.
    • Waldo was a rival scientist who had an accident with his own shrink ray and got picked up by it's inventor.
    • Mesme was a Creepy Child who suffered a Noodle Incident.
    • Dynamo was a crashed alien.
    • Roach was the doctor's nephew and an insect torturer who is suffering karmic punishment.
    • Toxin was a mercenary who tried to steal the Minimizer. Dr. Minimizer gave away the plans in exchange for Toxin's cooperation in the experiment.
    • Amazingly, Vortex is the only character not to have suffered an unfortunate accident. Instead she was just taught how to make gravitational singulaities at will.
  • Cute Mute: Mesme.
  • Darker and Edgier: Very much so compared to the main series.
  • Excuse Plot: Subverted - while the plot is just a justification for tiny people running around, it's as developed as a real plot and has a resolution for every character.
  • Expy: V4 of Spider.
  • The Ghost: Dr Minimizer. He does have backstory other than being the inventor of the Minimizer - he's Waldo's rival and Roach's uncle.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Project-X, apparently.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: Project-X and Maw-Maw were created by Minimizer and given those names, while Dynamo, Waldo and Mesme are known by their real names (albeit with Only One Name), but V4, Vortex, Pyra, Beatbox, Twister, Roach and Toxin never have their real names mentioned. note 
  • Men Are Generic, Women Are Special: Inverted - all the secret characters are men.
  • Multiple Endings: One for every character.
    • V4 goes destiny-seeking with a motorbike Dr. Minimizer made from the rest of the crash parts.
    • Vortex gets honour degrees and becomes an astronaut where she leads the first ever mission into a black hole.
    • Pyra takes a nice holiday in a volcanic lake.
    • Waldo tries to turn himself into a giant with the Minimizer, but accidentally turns himself into a baby and destroys his power suit.
    • Maw Maw escapes and eats cake. (Well, it is Maw Maw.)
    • Twister gets action figures made of, becomes a household name, and gets very rich.
    • Beatbox opens a club with Maximized hi-fi.
    • Mesme brings her teddy bear to life after Maximising it to prevent her nightmares.
    • Toxin gets a three year cold and goes to jail.
    • Roach tortures everyone else (so is presumably the first to be Maximized).
    • Dynamo goes home.
    • Project X clones itself and leads a rampage, but Dr. Minimizer puts a stop to it.
  • My Brain Is Big: Mesme's brain sticks out of her head.
  • No Mouth: Mesme doesn't have a mouth.
  • Playing with Fire: Pyra.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Vortex and Pyra are almost the same, except for the exact details of the accident. Of course, they're not twins.
    • Also Project-X and Maw-Maw, who are siblings, both being the creations of Dr. Minimizer. While Maw-Maw is a courageous guard animal, Project-X is an aggressive Super-Soldier.
  • Real Is Brown: Perhaps not brown specifically, but it's definitely much duller and less colourful than the games before and after it.
  • School Uniforms are the New Black: Roach.
  • Shock and Awe: Dynamo.
  • Stylistic Suck: Micro Maniacs made everyone ugly, as part of the Darker and Edgier style. Debatable with Vortex and Pyra. Vortex is only offset by the striking two-tone skin, but even then she is quite the stunner. Pyra is almost statuesque ... until you remember that she is literally living fire and probably a virtually-hollow skin. Roach was probably quite handsome before his karmic punishment, and we have no idea what V4, Twister or Beatbox really look(ed) like.
  • Visual Pun: The races are real world environments - because they're Micro Machines. Most characters have puns based around their character woven into their backstory (mostly because Dr. Minimizer likes to use the cause of death as the motif for the second life, and because said death is often the direct cause of rebirth).
    • V4's bike accident made him a bike character (Dr. Minimizer reconstructed him).
    • Vortex was playing with black holes.
    • Same with Pyra (but with fire).
    • Waldo had a Minimizer copy accident (making him a science themed character).
    • Roach is undergoing Karmic Punishment.
    • Beatbox with his speakers (it was his wish).
    • Toxin was possibly suffering from a cold.
    • Maw Maw, Project X, Twister, Mesme and Dynamo already were how they are, so this trope doesn't apply to them.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Beatbox, apparently.

"Andrememberifitdoesn'tsay"MicroMachines"... It's not the real thing!"