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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 wreak 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), Lizzie (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—would 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.


  • Aardvark Trunks: Icky from Total Destruction is a giant echidna, which are animals that have beaks. However, his snout looks more like an aardvark's than an echidna's.
  • Adapted Out: Ralph is absent from the NES port of the original game, due to the system only supporting two controllers.
  • 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.
    • Averted in Total Destruction taking place entirely in famous cities.
  • Alien Invasion: In the second half of Universal Tour. They replace the normal enemies, and gradually their buildings replace the normal buildings as well. The end of the game sees you invade their home planet and smash their cities.
  • 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.
  • Area 51: Last stop in the all-world segment of Universal Tour, and appropriately enough, where alien monster Myukus will be picked up.
  • Artistic License – Geology: In the case of planets with Universal Tour. Never minding their climates, the likes of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune all have solid surfaces and some have clear skies that normally don't. Furthered by the graphical limitations of the Game Boy Color, every planet and moon has the same cratered surface.
  • 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.
  • Balance, Speed, Strength Trio: In the original game, each of the three monsters fall under this. George is the balanced one, Lizzie is the speedy one, and Ralph is the strong one.
  • Behemoth Battle: Though it is not required, Friendly Fire on your fellow monsters is possible and fun.
  • Big Applesauce: New York serves as the final city in Total Destruction.
  • Big Bad: The villainous mega corporation Scumlabs, is the cause of the giant monsters.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Fabio the flea and Sarah the spider in Total Destruction take this trope up to eleven.
  • Blatant Lies: In the intro of Rampage Through Time, Dr. Yuri Nal, the inventor of the world's first time machine, tries to assure the viewing public that there is absolutely no reason to panic, all while security footage shows the monsters using said time machine.
  • 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.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Humans in Total Destruction will just simply insult the monsters even in the midst of being eaten alive.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Invoked for some of the bonus stages in Rampage Through Time.
    • George - Orange
    • Lizzie - Green
    • Ralph - Blue
    • Ruby - Red
    • Curtis - White
    • Boris - Black
    • Myukus - Purple
    • Harley - Yellow
  • 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, who aren’t as sinister as Eustace but are are similarly greedy and callous.
  • Cyclops: The one-eyed alien, Myukus, and his Palette Swaps Noobus and Pucous.
  • Deadline News:
    • In Total Destruction, you can destroy news helicopters.
    • Happens (presumably) to a female reporter in the opening intro of Rampage 2: Universal Tour. And then it happens again (offscreen) to an alien newscaster at the end of the same game.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: In most non-arcade versions of the original game and World Tour, whenever your health runs out, you can just press a button to monster up again and leap right back into action almost immediately. Running out of lives in Total Destruction is only slightly more penalizing, forcing you to start over on the current city block.
  • Defeat by Modesty: When your monster is defeated in the first three games and Total Destruction, they revert back to human form and sidle away covering their 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.
  • Developer's Foresight: The game has an animation for when the monsters' damage meter runs out. There's also an animation for when the monster falls through a bridge and ends up in the water. What happens if the monster's damage meter runs out while it's in the water? There's an animation for that too.
  • Double Jump: Bart and Plucky in Total Destruction, being flying animals, are capable of extremely limited flight in this form.
  • 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.
  • Eviler than Thou: You pull this off. Scumlabs is Evil, Inc. and your actions wipe most of them from the face of the planet. Universal Tour sees Earth invaded by aliens. Not only do the monsters repel the invaders, they attack the aliens' home planet and level it.
  • 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 and Total Destruction, you are still playing as destructive monsters, but your main enemy is an insanely corrupt company, with either a megalomaniacal CEO or a Mad Scientist and criminally negligent PR guy in charge, depending on the game.
    • Can sometimes become the case among the monsters themselves in multiplayer, especially in Through Time and the competitive modes of Total Destruction.
    • Universal Tour turns into this once the aliens show up, with the plot switches from the monsters rampaging and terrorizing humans to them fighting off the aliens. Then the monsters turn the table on the aliens and invade their homeworld.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Fitting for a game based around destroying everything in a stage.
  • Expy: Both George and Lizzie are obviously modeled after King Kong and Godzillanote  .
  • 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.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Averted big time. Not only will you be awarded points for beating up your fellow mutants, you're encouraged to do so.
    "If other monsters don't love and respect you, beat the snot outta them." (Rampage World Tour loading screen blurb)
  • 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.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Ruby is a giant Villain Protagonist lobster.
  • 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.
  • Golden Snitch: The minigames after three stages in Through Time are this. All of the destructions are competitive, and those who earn the best awards got additional points for the minigame. Winning the minigame is mandatory to continue progress in the story mode.
  • 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 DeMonic 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 forms of the reverted monsters adopt.
  • Helicopter Flyswatter: The monsters can swat helicopters out of the sky.
  • Hotter and Sexier: World Tour is this by a little bit from the original game, having the aforementioned Dr. Betty Veronica and a slightly-longer Naked Freakout animation that briefly shows the demutated monsters' tiny, low-resolution naughty bits in the arcade, PlayStation, and Sega Saturn versions of the game.
  • 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.
  • Incompetence, Inc.: Scumlabs managed to turn a trio of humans into giant monsters who ravaged the planet. Then in Universal Tour they somehow managed to create another trio of monsters who broke out the previous three.
  • Jack of All Stats: Universal Tour shows starter monster Ruby to have all equal stats.
  • Kaiju: An American example. Downplayed though, since the monsters are roughly one and a half story of a building instead of being a 50 foot tall thing.
  • Kent Brockman News: Rampage 2 and 3 began with newscasts by WBC, and succeeded in being hilarious. There are also news broadcasts in Total Destruction that are more funny than serious.
  • 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.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Venus in Total Destruction is a giant Venus fly-trap that eats people just like the other monsters.
  • 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, the sexy scientist, with her short skirt, Impossible Hourglass Figure and Buxom Beauty Standard figure is definitely one in World Tour.
  • 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 Total Destruction, 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 buck 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 DeMonic 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.
  • Non-Human Head: Bizarrely, Larry the Rat retains his rat head even when turned back into a human.
  • Notzilla: Lizzie, a woman who has mutated into a giant Godzilla-esque lizard monster.
  • Oddball in the Series: Puzzle Attack is, as its title implies, a bit of a Genre Shift from the rest of the series.
  • Officer O'Hara: Pretty much every police officer in Total Destruction is one.
  • One-Winged Angel: In the final two levels of World Tour, with the monsters now in Scumlabs' main town of Toxic Hollow, Eustace takes matters into his own hands and turns into a large pink mutant to stop the monsters. The monsters take the fight to Luna Tech, Scumlabs' moon base, and ultimately kill Eustace, reducing him to a bloody puddle of entrails.
  • 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.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Most of the monsters are just giant animals, but some of the monsters in Total Destruction are weird. Brian the brain, Bubba the blob, and Squirmy, the monster made of worms are prime examples of this.
  • Pepper Sneeze: Grabbing some of this in Universal Tour results in a flaming one (also caused by a feather, for whatever reason) that can hollow out a whole level of a building.
  • Poison Mushroom: "Puking is painful! Watch what you eat!"
    • Some items that appear from smashed windows can actually make you lose health (and make the monster vomit) if they are eaten. Noteworthy examples include medical syringes and (unused) toilet paper.
    • In Rampage 2: Universal Tour, one item that sometimes appears at the windows is a rubber ducky. If you punch it enough times, it will trigger the airstrike early (and you'll hear the corresponding air raid sirens).
  • Primal Chest-Pound: George pounds his chest a lot, being a gorilla.
  • 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).
  • Rhino Rampage: Boris happens to be a rhino mutant and like the rest he will eat any human he grabs.
  • Samus Is a Girl: It's a surprise for some players that Lizzie and Ruby are female, mostly due to the monsters all having relatively masculine designs and gruff voices. Less so the case in Total Destruction, where the monsters are much more animalistic and averted altogether in the original, where each monster's identity is clearly shown from the very beginning.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Skewed Priorities: In the Arcade original, sometimes the between-level newspapers will say an ex-mutant was arrested…for streaking. It's implied this was right after they finished causing millions of dollars in property damage and eating numerous people.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Lizzie in the original arcade and, in terms of selectable characters, in World Tour as well. Averted monstrously in Total Destruction.
  • Special Attack: Given to each monster upon Universal Tour and usable when their gauge is full.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Lizzie tends to have her name spelled with an "ie" at the end, but World Tour at least has it end with a "y" instead.
  • Subliminal Seduction: Parodied in the Atari Lynx version.
    There are no (Buy a Lynx) subliminal messages (Or two) in this game (Buy a Lynx).
  • Super Drowning Skills: Downplayed. While the playable monsters can swim, they'll take damage while doing so.
  • 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.
  • This Was His True Form: When your monster's health is gone, they turn back into their human form. Downplayed as they're still alive, and active enough to pull the Hand-or-Object Underwear joke.
  • Timed Mission: You only have so much time to destroy each city (or rather city block in Total Destruction) before the military swoops in and air raids them. This won't cause any damage to your monster, though you won't get any bonuses if the level ends this way.
  • Title Drop: In the intro for Rampage 2: Universal Tour.
    "Heaven help us! They're on a rampage!"
  • To Serve Man: Played for Laughs, in a strange way. 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: In World Tour, all three monsters have one - Bananas, ladybugs, and steak for George, Lizzie, and Ralph, respectively. Eating a favorite food item will grant a "Mega Food" bonus and restore more health to your monster than usual.
  • 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 animal cruelty: live cats are the favorite food of Crock the Crocodile and Fifi the Poodle.
    • While playing multiplayer, you can even eat your fellow monster whenever they revert 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 lightningnote .
  • Villain Protagonist: Every game is about giant monsters out to destroy everything with no regard for anyone but themselves…and you're playing as them! They at least get to indulge in Evil vs. Evil or destructive salvation in some games.
  • 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: Almost every playable monster seems to be this considering what happens when they run out of health in most games, but only the original and Total Destruction fully explain how the monsters came to be:
    • George was a Scumlabs employee who turned out as an accidental test subject (thanks to an experimental Mega-Vitamin), Lizzie swam in irradiated water, Ralph ate a sausage with a strange food additive, and (in the Lynx version) Larry ate tainted creamed spinach.
    • In Total Destruction, the original three monsters, along with the other twenty-seven or thirty-seven, were test subjects for Scum Labs new product, Scum Soda.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Seriously, Squirmy?? Hopefully it's just a nickname...
  • The Worm That Walks: Squirmy in Total Destruction is made out of worms. Despite being the mutated form of just one human.
  • 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.
  • Wrap Around: In the original game, but only when hitting another player off the side of the screen.
  • 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