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Video Game / Outlaws

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Outlaws is a 1997 Wild West First-Person Shooter game developed by LucasArts.

It follows the journey for revenge of the retired Marshal James Anderson, who after returning home from a shopping trip to the town finds his wife murdered, his daughter kidnapped and his house burned to the ground by the henchmen of an evil railroad baron called Bob Graham.


  • Armor Meter: You can find boilerplates to use as armour whose durability is shown as a card on the bottom of the screen that slides down with each hit they absorb.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Most bosses take several bullets to bring down, compared to just 1 or 2 for regular Mooks. On medium or hard difficulty, most of them can also kill you in half a second with a single burst of gunfire.
  • Bad Ass Long Coat: Anderson.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: After the final battle, Anderson is held at gunpoint by Graham, whom he now realizes killed his father. The sound of a gunshot is heard, but it was Sarah, who'd been placed in the same position as Anderson as a child and had grabbed Anderson's gun.
  • Bandito: "Spittin'" Jack Sánchez.
  • Bang, Bang, BANG: You can instantly tell when you're fighting a boss before you even spot them due to the extra loud report from their weapons.
  • Big Bad: "Gentleman" Bob Graham
  • Brawn Hilda: "Bloody" Mary
  • Bonus Level of Hell: In Ugly difficulty there is an additional cavern section on Level 6.
  • Cigar-Fuse Lighting: The player character can chuck dynamite around. Alt-fire lights the fuse, and the animation consists of the PC removing his stogie from his mouth and applying it to the fuse.
  • Cowboy Cop: Anderson was fired from being marshall for gunning down a suspect. It's worth noting that Anderson harbors no resentment for being fired. He fully realises that an officer of the law has to follow the law, and says so when another character claims his dismissal was unfair. Also, uh, he's literally a cowboy.
  • Credits Gag: Players who willingly sit all the way through the end credits are treated to the top 10 quotes uttered during the making of the game as well as the top 9 signs you've been playtesting Outlaws for too long.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: After beating the final boss, Anderson foolishly drops his gun and runs over to check on Sara without making sure Graham is dead. As a result, Anderson is nearly killed when Graham gets up to shoot him, surviving only because Sarah picks up his gun and shoots Graham.
  • Deadly Doctor: Matt "Dr. Death" Jackson, who along with "Slim" Sam Fulton is responsible for killing Anderson's wife and kidnapping his daughter, and who receives the most screen time out of all the villains besides Bob Graham.
  • Downer Beginning: The game opens up with Anderson losing his home and his wife as well as his daughter getting kidnapped. Afterwards the game never gets quite as grim as that.
  • The Dragon: Chief Two Feathers, although he only really shows up at the end just before you go after Bob Graham himself.
  • Easter Egg: Numerous, often pretty unusual. Dinosaurs with human faces, poodles with sunglasses that shoot fire at you, aliens in the toilet just to name a few. There are also a couple of more normal ones, such as the golden statue (which is a shout out to Raiders of the Lost Ark), Max from Sam & Max and hell.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Bob Graham's henchmen include: Former slave "Buckshot" Bill Morgan, Mexican-American "Spittin" Jack Sánchez, "Bloody" Mary Nash and Chief Two Feathers.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Both Graham and Jackson disapprove of "Bloody" Mary Nash's idea of killing Sarah. In Graham's case, sparing Anderson as a child after killing the boy's father got him into this mess in the present, and by pure karmic justice, his sparing of Sarah leads to her shooting him to save Anderson.
  • Eye Scream: "Bloodeye" Tim got his alias since he lost his eye in a gunfight and so he now has the habit to shoot people in their eyes.
  • Father's Quest: The game is about a retired marshall who embarks on a raid through bandit hideouts in pursuit of people who kidnapped his daughter.
  • Gatling Good: An old school Gatling Gun appears as the game's BFG. While it provides plenty of firepower, Anderson can't move around while wielding it. Well, unless you cheat.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: When Anderson lacks ammo for his guns, or is without his guns, his fists deliver a one-hit knockout.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: "Henry" George Bowers Cruel and Unusual Death
  • The Gunslinger: The main character.
  • Homage: The Game is most obviously one to Spaghetti Western, especially those starring Clint Eastwood (on whom Marshall Anderson is clearly based on).
  • I Have Your Wife: In this case, the outlaws have taken Anderson's daughter, after they killed his wife.
  • I Shall Taunt You: You'll be hearing this a lot from the mooks: "Don't be a fool Marshal!", "Yer' outnumbered!". The bosses are also very vocal.
    "My horse pisses straighter than you shoot."
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Keeping with the above, the difficulty levels are "Good", "Bad," and "Ugly."
  • Lumber Mill Mayhem / Down the Drain: The 5th Level.
  • Mad Bomber: "Dynamite" Dick Clifton:
    "Hey Marshal! I got a present for you: A stick of dynamite!"
    "I hear you like cigars! Here, have one of mine!"
  • Made of Iron: Most of the bosses in the game are only marginally to moderately tougher than the average mooks you gun down, so a good bit of buckshot or a few well-placed rifle rounds can drop them. Bob Graham, on the other hand, can stand there and take over several dozen rounds from a gatling gun before he finally goes down.
  • Mooks: The game features three standard types:
    • Skinny single pistol wielding mook.
    • Stocky Guns Akimbo mook.
    • Rifle (white shirted) or Shotgun (blue shirted) wielding mook.
  • Nintendo Hard: On "Bad" (Medium) or "Ugly" (Hard), difficulty, the game is very hard. You die in just a handful of shots, and can be killed in one or two hits at close range. Plus, all enemies use hitscan weapons. Despite the appearance of the game, if you run around with guns blazing you'll be shot to death pretty damn quickly. The key to success is to treat the game like a tactical shooter and methodically pick off enemies from behind cover and around corners. Or you could play the game on "Good" (Easy) difficulty and, well, run around like it's Doom.
  • No-Gear Level: You lose all of your weapons at the beginning of the final level thanks to Cutscene Incompetence.
  • One-Hit Kill: More like One Hit Knockout, but Anderson can knock out foes with a single punch.
  • One-Hit Polykill: With a shotgun, it's possible to kill at least two mooks with one shot.
  • Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: "Bloody" Mary Nash has this taunt:
    "Oh Marshal! Ex-Marshal! Is that really a gun in your hand, or is it just wishful thinkin'?"
  • Outlaw: Well, duh.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: As far as is shown "Gentleman" Bob Graham seems perfectly willing to leave people alone as long as they sell him the land he wants. In fact, while not opposed to hiring cutthroat outlaws to "persuade" people into accepting his buyouts, he doesn't want the land owners killed and chastises Dr. Death for burning down Anderson's home, killing his wife, and kidnapping his child. Not because it's morally wrong of course, but because it sent Anderson on the warpath and is causing problems for his plans.
  • Recycled In Space: The game uses a modified version of the Dark Forces Game Engine which itself was based on the Doom engine. Which would essentially make this game Dark Forces or Doom in the Wild West.
  • Retired Badass: The protagonist, James Anderson.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue combined with Roaring Rampage of Revenge
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: One of three different shotguns available in the game. A full length double barreled shotgun and, in a very rare move, a single shotgun are both available.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Along with Dr. Death, "Slim" Sam Fulton is directly responsible for the murder of Marshall Anderson's wife and kidnapping of his daughter. He is also the first who bites it.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: The Sawed-Off Shotgun has a very wide spread but a very short range.
  • Shout-Out: As expected in a LucasArts game, there are plenty:
    • The Difficulty Levels are named: Good, Bad, and Ugly.
    • On level 2 (the town) there is a business called Stan's Used Coffins.
    • There is an Easter egg in one historical mission that pays a Homage to the opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
    • The musical piece called "The Last Gunfight" is a huge one to Ecstasy of Gold from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (which itself it a prelude to the famous final gunfight from the film).
    • The train locomotive in the opening cutscene has the number 1138.
  • Taking the Kids: In addition of killing his wife, Dr. Death also kidnaps Anderson's daughter, and Bob Graham ends up keeping her around because he can't figure out what else to do with her.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    "Slim" Sam Fulton:...Damn it... I told that fool Doctor stealing your kid weren't gonna be good for everyone's... health... uhhhh *dies*
    Anderson: It's a shame he didn't listen.
    • Dr. Death really shouldn't have brought up the topic of the Marshall's murdered wife the way he did, hanging upside down from a rope by his ankle above a mineshaft...
    • In retrospect, the best way of dealing with a former lawman who got fired because he "killed a few men before a jury gave him permission to" was probably not "Burn down the property, kill the wife and kidnap the child". Bob Graham lampshades this to the particular henchman responsible roughly halfway through the game.
  • Traintop Battle: It wouldn't be a Wild West game without it.
  • The Western: One of the first successful video games set in this period.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Bosses can typically take quite a few bullets, but can be taken out with a single good left hook.
  • Would Hurt a Child: "Bloody" Mary Nash:
    When you're gone, we shall weep! Especially that little girl of yours! What's her name? I can't wait to get my hands on her... her throat!
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Bob Graham firmly draws the line at harming children when Mary Nash suggests just killing Sarah. Dr. Death agrees with Graham, although seeing as he was the one who kidnapped Sarah in the first place strictly For the Evulz it rings a bit insincere.
  • Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: Dr. Death does this to Anderson, bragging about how he helped murder his wife Anna. It doesn't end well for him.
  • You Killed My Father: At the end of the game when Bob Graham has him at gunpoint, Anderson realizes that Graham is the bandit who killed his father in front of him when he was just a child.