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Video Game / Rampage

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Destroy everything in sight!

Rampage is a series of American Kaiju video games, starting with the 1986 arcade game by Midway Games. The games put you in the shoes of a giant monster, where you are tasked in each level to destroy buildings, eat people, fight the military and generally wreck havoc wherever you go.

The original game presents a simple premise that carries on for the rest of the series. You choose to play as three simultaneous characters George (a King Kong-like Expy), Lizzy (a Godzilla Expy), or Ralph (a giant werewolf), humans mutated into giant monsters after exposure to radiation from the nefarious SCUM Labs. The goal of each level is to destroy each building in the given city before time runs out. Along with that, you are able to eat helpless civilians as well as destroy helicopters, tanks, cars, boats and trains. The game runs on a cycle, as when you reach past level 768 (Plano, Illinois), you return to level one (Peoria, Illinois).


The first Rampage was ported to almost every Atari console out there from the Atari 2600 to the Atari Lynx, as well as the Commodore 64, MS-DOS/IBM PC, ZX Spectrum, NES, and Sega Master System. It should be noted that the NES, Sega Master System and Atari Lynx versions actually end instead of going through a cycle. The NES version only supported two characters, omitting Ralph, while the Lynx version kept all three while also adding a fourth character, Larry the rat. Rampage has since been included on various classic compilations game sets such as 2003's Midway Arcade Treasures. This game and Rampage: World Tour are also available as a bonus feature in Rampage: Total Destruction. In 2000, Williams Electronics had Rampage as well as other Williams games licensed to Shockwave to test out their online gaming platform Shockwave Arcade Collection. The game is also available for the iOS through the Midway arcade app.


About a decade after the first game, a sequel was released entitled Rampage: World Tour, which incorporated more moves and power-ups, a more cartoony art style and plenty more cities and locations to destroy. It was followed by console-exclusive games including Rampage 2: Universal Tour, Rampage Through Time, and Rampage Puzzle Attack, all sharing World Tour's style of gameplay and design. The most recent game in the series, which brings the series into three dimensions is Rampage: Total Destruction, released in 2006. Total Destruction currently has the largest roster of monsters to choose from, allowing you to play as up to 30 uniquely designed monsters.note  A reboot of the series was planned to be released for the Kinect for Xbox 360 sometime in 2012, but the game never developed past a piece of concept art.

A film adaptation of the game was in development since 2011. New Line Cinema originally attached John Rickard to direct the project, although he eventually left after the film got stuck in Development Hell. It was later announced in June 2015 that Dwayne Johnson would star in the film, with Brad Peyton and Beau Flynn—who previously worked with Johnson on San Andreas—will respectively direct and produce the film. The film was released in 2018 and pits Johnson's character against the original three monsters, while Larry made a cameo appearance. It also has a videogame adaptation that doubles as a redemption game.


  • Adapted Out: Ralph is absent from the NES port of the original game.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: You'd expect an outbreak of giant monsters to happen in Tokyo or New York. No, it's Peoria, Illinois. You do visit the famous cities eventually, but they're interspersed with the smaller ones, and close to the end of the game you run through the larger ones again before restarting the cycle.
  • Alien Invasion: In Universal Tour. They replace the normal enemies, and gradually their buildings replace the normal buildings as well.
  • Alliterative Name: A great number of the monsters that appeared in the series have names that are alliterative with their species. George is a gorilla, Lizzie a lizard, Jack Jackalope, Jill Jellyfish, the list goes on. Seems the animal a person mutates into depends almost entirely on their name.
  • Ascended to Carnivorism: The overall franchise is about giant, voracious monsters that can eat people to regain health. However, it's worth noting that some of the monsters in the franchise are based on animals that are actually herbivorous in real life (George the Gorilla, Boris the Rhino, and Shelby the Turtle to name a few).
  • Astral Finale: The last level in World Tour is a lunar base.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: When the first game came out, it started out with just Ralph, George and Lizzie. During the many sequels, many other monsters were added to the series.
  • Bad Future: Caused in Through Time.
  • Bad Present: Caused in Through Time.
  • Behemoth Battle: Though it is not required, Friendly Fire on your fellow monsters is possible and fun.
  • Big Bad: The villainous Mega Corp., Scumlabs, is the cause of the giant monsters.
  • Bowdlerize:
    • Some of the console ports, such as the Nintendo 64 games in the series censor the nudity when your monsters return to human form by giving them underwear.
    • In the ending of the original arcade version of World Tour, a shrunken Lizzie ends up falling in between Dr. Betty Veronica’s large breasts. This was understandably removed in all the console ports, instead of bouncing on the scientist’s breasts and into her cleavage Lizzie now just lands on her shoulder.
  • Brainy Brunette: Dr. Betty Veronica.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • Eustace DeMonic, the ruthless CEO of Scum Labs in World Tour. One of the pre-game screens suggests that he has underworld ties, which a hidden bonus level confirm are quite literal.
    • The entire board of executives of Scumlabs in Total Destruction, they aren’t as sinister as Eustace but they are similarly greedy and callous.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: Dr. Betty Veronica wears a short labcoat.
  • Defeat by Modesty: When your monster is defeated in the first and second game, he/she reverts back to human form and sidles away covering his/her privates in shame.
  • Destructive Savior: The monsters in Universal Tour, ironically enough. The aliens' plans to invade the Earth ends up getting thwarted by the monsters, who go on to level their home planet as well.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Done surprisingly subtly. Eating random pills or syringes you find in buildings in World Tour causes your character to vomit and lose health.
  • Endless Game: Both the first and the last game in the series. At least the last game doubles as a redemption game where you can acquire tickets to be exchanged with real world prizes.
  • Escaped Animal Rampage: Though technically all the monsters in every game count as they escaped from SCUM labs, Universal Tour plays it more straightforward. In that game, Lizzie, George and Ralph are captured and put on public display after the events of World Tour, and it is up to the new monsters to rescue them.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: Dr. Betty Veronica is the only surviving employee of Scumlabs, which has been destroyed by the monsters.
  • Evil, Inc.: Scumlabs. The name alone should clue you in.
  • Evil vs. Evil: In World Tour you are still playing as destructive monsters, but your main enemy is an insanely corrupt company ran by a megalomaniacal CEO.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Fitting for a game based around destroying everything in a stage.
  • Expy: Both George and Liz are obviously modeled after King Kong and Godzilla.
  • Fartillery:
    • Harley's special power in Through Time.
    • Averted in Total Destruction. The monsters can fart and burp, but it doesn't do any damage.
  • Gasshole: The monsters in Total Destruction will always burp and/or fart after they eat someone or something. Even the ones who don't physically have a mouth or anus.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In World Tour, when the monsters revert back into humans, they stand up naked for about a second before realizing this and covering up. The sprites are small, but if you take a close look, you can see their private parts before they cover themselves.
    • From the same game, some levels will have what looks like flashers in trench coats, seen flashing next to beautiful looking women.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The aliens in Universal Tour. You free the monsters from the previous two games, then out of nowhere, Earth is invaded by aliens.
  • Gorn: World Tour has a little bit of this, though its relatively tame. People will splat into a flesh colored mess of skeleton and guts when jumped on or kicked. The death of SCUM Labs CEO Eustace De Monic at the end of the game is a bit gruesome as well.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Total Destruction does not tell the players which city each monster should go to in order to unlock a new special power. Which means you'll probably be replaying the entire game over and over and over again with all the monsters just to find them all.
    • The game also doesn't even hint at where they can find the new monsters to unlock. That means you need to search every single city, every single district, every single building, every single window...
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: The pose the naked human form adopts.
  • Helicopter Flyswatter
  • Hot Scientist: Dr. Betty Veronica. And how!
  • Humongous Mecha: Two types in World Tour: one attacks with flamethrowers and machine guns, the bigger version punches you and turns into the smaller variant when destroyed.
  • Kaiju: An American example.
  • Kent Brockman News: Rampage 2 and 3 began with newscasts by WBC, and succeeded in being hilarious.
  • Killer Gorilla: George is a mutated gorilla, and just loves eating people. (Especially the pretty girl in the plain green T-shirt and jeans!)
  • Latex Spacesuit: Dr. Betty Veronica wears one when going to space, that hugs her figure and features a large amount of cleavage.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: the sheer, overwhelming number of monsters populating the final game (30, plus 10 exclusive for the Wii) is arguably one of the reasons it tanked so thoroughly: none of them were particularly interesting, and none of them were really worth the effort to unlock.
  • Meganekko: Dr. Betty Veronica.
  • Monumental Damage: Surprisingly averted for the most part. Even though you can fight in major cities throughout the games, you rarely ever come into contact with famous landmarks.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Dr. Betty Veronica, as evidenced by her other tropes.
  • Mutants: According to the storyline, this is what the monsters are. In the first three games, they were the result of failed Scum Labs experiments, and in the final game, the monsters were all part of a test group for Scum Soda.
  • Naked People Are Funny: The result of losing a life in this series is that your monster demutates back into their original human form and discovers that Magic Pants is averted, leaving them butt-naked in the middle of a partially destroyed city block. (Except in the console versions of World Tour and Universal Tour, where they at least gain underwear) They quickly cover their privates with their hands and begin sidling offscreen.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Who the hell tries to market something called "Scum Soda"?
  • No Ending: The destruction simply goes on and on and on and on... in the first game, the final level was on the moon, but the best you got was a congratulation screen.
    • This is Averted in World Tour: after ridding the world of Eustace De Monic on the moon, the monsters celebrate but are finally found by Dr. Betty Veronica who shoots them with a laser she thinks will destroy them... Only to find out it only shrank the monsters and they have now hijacked her spaceship.
    • Also Averted in the most recent game: Total Destruction. After defeating the final boss in New York, it is revealed that everyone thinks that the monsters are a publicity stunt and Scum Soda, which caused the problem in the first place, is sold out everywhere.
  • Notzilla: Lizzie, a woman who has mutated into a giant Godzilla-esque lizard monster.
  • Officer O'Hara: Pretty much every police officer in Total Destruction is one.
  • Only Sane Man: Dr. Betty Veronica in World Tour, the news anchor in the intros for the PSX version of Universal Tour and Rampage Through Time.
  • Primal Chest-Pound: George does this a lot, naturally.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Dr. Betty Veronica.
  • Punny Name: A number of the characters' names (like Rhett the rat, Lizzie the Lizard, and Ramsley the Ram).
  • Samus Is a Girl: It's a surprise for some players that Lizzie is a female. Mostly due to the monsters all having relatively masculine designs and gruff voices.
  • She's Got Legs: Dr. Betty Veronica.
  • Shout Out:
    • In the original Rampage there were certain people that the monsters could hold in their hand for a short time. George's resembled that girl from King Kong.
    • Dr. Betty Veronica. Having them both as one would solve Archie's dilemma.
    • Universal Tour begins with George, Lizzie and Ralph having been captured and put on display as attractions in several major cities. George is in New York, Lizzie is in Tokyo, and Ralph is in London.
    • One of the western levels in Rampage Through Time is called "Tombstone". The same game also gives us Neo-Japan.
    • Ralph the Wolf
    • In Total Destruction, sometimes a person you pick up will yell at you in an Arnold Schwarzenegger style voice: "Come on, what are you waiting for!"
    • The movie's climax takes place in Chicago, where Midway Games, the creators of the original arcade machine are located.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Lizzie in the original arcade and, in terms of selectable characters, in World Tour as well. Averted monsterously in Total Destruction.
  • Subliminal Seduction: Parodied in the Atari Lynx version.
    There are no (Buy a Lynx) subliminal messages (Or two) in this game (Buy a Lynx).
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Larry the Rat in Rampage (Atari Lynx only) for Curtis the Mouse in Universal Tour (a Rat in Through Time) for Rhett the Rat in Total Destruction. Also Harley the Warthog in Universal Tour and Through Time for Wally the Warthog in Total Destruction.
  • Time Limit: There is a finite amount of time to complete each stage before the city is wiped out in an air raid.
  • Time Machine: How the plot of Through Time begins.
  • Time Travel: The basic plot of Through Time.
  • Title Drop: In the intro for Rampage 2: Universal Tour.
    "Heaven help us! They're on a rampage!"
  • To Serve Man: You're a giant monster and there's a bunch of little people running around. Take a guess how you're supposed to regain health. In fact, the game encourages you to eat people since they apparently give you more health than "normal" food (i.e. pizza, burgers, salad).
  • Toilet Humour: Mostly in Total Destruction, as listed above under Gasshole. Even the loading screens weren't immune to this; during the loading screens, you can randomly press buttons on the controller, and some of them trigger a farting or belching noise.
  • Token Good Teammate: Dr. Betty Veronica, who is the only Scumlabs employee who isn't malevolent or even evil in the slightest!
  • The Tokyo Fireball: Every game in the series has you destroying pretty much every major city on Earth, and yet they are all rebuilt by the next game for you to destroy once more. The intro of Universal Tour briefly covers this.
  • Tom the Dark Lord: Justified, as these monsters are transformed humans.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Zigzagged. Some citizens run at the first sight of the monsters, while others just stand still or wait inside the buildings to be devoured. When some of them do wise up and run away, it never occur to them to run away in the foreground or the background.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Every monster has one. For George, Lizzie and Ralph, it's bananas, eggs and steak, respectively.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Possibly the point of these games. First off, you may get points by snacking on civilians and soldiers. But there's also the fact that, in World Tour, there are elders, entire families (including kids) and wheelchair-bound people among the victims!!!
    • Total Destruction takes this Up to Eleven with ACTUAL CRUELTY: Crock the Crocodile's favorite food is a CAT.
    • If you are playing with more than one person, you can even eat your fellow monster whenever he/she reverts back into a human.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: ...however, sometimes your attempts to eat some poor bastard just trying to take a bath (or at least raiding his fridge) are met with your monster eating a toaster or a jug of poison instead. Not to mention the fact that eating clergymen results in your monster getting struck by lightning.
  • Villain Protagonist: All of the games have the protagonists merely as giant monsters out to destroy everything, with no regard for anyone but themselves.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: In all of the games, if the monsters eat something hazardous, they'll probably regurgitate it. It's worse in Total Destruction, as the monsters actually sound like they're puking their guts out instead of just spitting or groaning, and the vomit looks much grosser.
  • Was Once a Man:
    • George was a Scumlabs employee who turned out as an accidental test subject (thanks to an experimental Mega-Vitamin). Lizzie swam in contaminated water. Ralph ate contaminated sausage. And in the Atari Lynx version, Larry ate tainted creamed spinach.
    • In Total Destruction, the original three monsters, as well as the others, were test subjects for Scum Labs new product, Scum Soda.
  • World Tour: Pretty much the point of each game is that the monster go from city to city all over the world destroying everything in sight. The second game is even named after this.
  • Wraparound Background: World Tour, Universal Tour, and Through Time have this in the cities you fight in. If you keep walking in one direction, you'll quickly make in back to where you once were.

Alternative Title(s): Rampage World Tour


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