Revolution X is a 1994 mounted light gun game from Midway Games. In it, you play a revolutionary who fights against a military faction known as New Order Nation (NON) who have criminalized all things fun and are arresting anyone between the ages of 13 and 30. You set out to stop them and all their heinous actions against the youth with your assault rifle and explosive CD launcher alongside your fellow revolutionaries, the band Aerosmith.
Yeah, it's just that kinda game.
For a side-scrolling shooter, the game was pretty impressive, using live action technology and camera zoom-ins and outs to create a rather frantic experience. The game was, of course, also notable for its use of Aerosmith pretty much just as a marketing vehicle for the band. And oddly, it worked; many Gen-X'ers who never had heard of Aerosmith before became fans of them due to their exposure to the game (and probably have "Eat the Rich" stuck in their head to this very day).
While Revolution X was very successful at the arcades, the game did not translate well to consoles. More than one port of Revolution X wound up on the "Worst Games Ever" list of a gaming magazine or review site. Most ports suffered from poor controls and reduced graphics quality, and the game's quarter-munching gameplay didn't mesh well with a small, set stock of lives.
Put simply, Revolution X is akin to an actual Aerosmith concert: pure spectacle, and meant to be played with a crowd. The ports to Genesis and Super Nintendo censored the naughty bits and cut graphical quality, eliminating any point to the game. On the other hand, the PC, Sega Saturn and PlayStation ports fared a little better.
This game provides the following tropes:
- Abnormal Ammo: The secondary fire function of your gun unleashes explosive compact discs.
- Ambiguously Human: Many of the enemies.
- Bad "Bad Acting": While Steven Tyler hams it up as usual, Joe Perry delivers his lines in total monotone with no discerning facial expression at all. He just does not care."These guys are maggots, they're putting chemicals in all our food!"
- The Baroness: I, for one, welcome our new leather-clad overlord.
- Bee People: NON uniforms and vehicles sport a yellow-on-black color scheme, intentionally invoking this.
- Big Bad: Helga, the leader of the New Order Nation, who is actually an alien being called Mondor trying to brainwash everyone on earth.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: A giant centipede awaits you at the end of the Amazon.
- Blob Monster: A mid-boss in Evergreen Chemicals, a sentient slime that takes the form of a skull. It shows up at the end of the level as well.
- Bus Full of Innocents: NON actually has an armored school bus with gun turrets on the roof and in the windows to transport their hostages to a "Reprogramming Center." In Egypt.
- The Can Kicked Him: Hang a leftnote once you enter Club X. You'll get to ambush some hapless NON troopers in the toilet stalls. (As well as an embarrassed bassist. Sorry, Tom.)
- Can't You Read the Sign?: Helga's chalkboard tells you not to shoot things for powerups.
- Chased by Angry Natives: A hilariously racist pack of tribesmen with masks and spears. The game justifies it slightly by stating they're under NON's mind control.
- Cool Car: Steve's Lamborghini. The game itself even notes it once you get to it:Aerosmith's car... Cool!
- Coolest Club Ever: Club X, the opening level in Los Angeles.
- Culture Police: The New Order Nation.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Steve's congratulatory, "Now you got protection!" whenever you pick up armor.
- Dystopian Edict: The New Order Nation has banned all forms of music, television, magazines, and video games, and anyone between the ages of 13 and 30 have been arrested, along with the band Aerosmith.
- Elite Mooks: Skatetroopers are more intimidating then their yellow brethren, brandishing a riot helmet, a ballistic shield, and a voice like Darth Vader. They are highly vulnerable while moving, however, and will slip and fall. You should save your CDs for these guys; they can be troublesome. Also a threat are Yellowjackets, which take a bit more punishment, and Berzerkers, who charge at you with throwing knives and machine guns.
- Evil Brit: Helga barks out threats in a cockney accent and dresses like a Sex Pistol - which is odd for an authority figure promoting cleanliness and order.
- Evil Laugh: Helga laughs at you if you fail to destroy the school bus.
- Executive Suite Fight: You face a Yellowjacket with a transforming desk at the end of Pacific Rim.
- Expy: Helga's second form may as well be Mutoid Man.
- Fanservice: Let's count all the scantily-clad female hostages, shall we?
- Foot Popping: In the best ending, Kerri Hoskins quadruplets hang on Steven Tyler as he welcomes you into the band.
- Game-Over Man: Steven shouting "Don't give up!" when all the player's health is gone.
- Gas Mask Mooks: The vast majority of NON's foot soldiers.
- Golden Snitch: If you find all five band members and beat Helga, you get to go backstage and grab "Mammy Award" trophies. Each one adds 50,000 points to your bonus, which in turn is multiplied by 6 for finding everyone. Your final bonus can easily run into the 12-15 million range and end up being over half your total score.
- Goofy Print Underwear: Believe it or not, the final boss appears to wear heart-print boxers.
- Guide Dang It!:
- The game isn't very clear what you're supposed to do in certain battles. Such as the bartender who chucks grenades at you (you have to shoot the sign above him), the centipede boss (you have to keep it back during the chase then destroy the bridge when you reach that point) or the battle against Helga (you have to position her in front of the throne then blow her into it).
- Finding each member of Aerosmith (for the score-multiplying wings that unlock a bonus room at the end of the game) is frustrating. You have to take an exact set of actions to find them, and you only get one shot for each. With one specific exception, it's nearly impossible (if not outright impossible) to find a member by accident:
- Tom Hamilton appears in either the male or female restroom (which not only do you not know you can end up going into, but is determined randomly at the start of each game) early in level 1. Which one he is in is dependent on the very first movement after you reach the rooftops.
- Steven Tyler appears on an alternate route that requires you to destroy a pair of fish with CDs and then break a mirror after reaching a certain point in the Lounge of level 1.
- Brad Whitford actually has a map in the level (Pacific Rim) showing where he is, but getting to him is annoying. You have to go to a specific gate, shoot a box, shoot an arrow sign that becomes exposed when the box is shot, and then quickly shoot the sign again.
- Joe Perry is located in a secret room inside another secret room accessed via a secret elevator (specifically, he's behind a grate in a room full of hostages) in the Amazon.
- Joey Kramer can easily be obtained by pure coincidence. In the Middle East stage, shoot each of the first three Sphinxes in the nose with a CD to open the mouth, then pick up the gold CD inside. The challenge is to do all of this while fighting that freaking school bus.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: The Big Bad, Helga. By the way, that's her on the side of the arcade cabinet as seen in the flyer above.
- Highly Visible Ninja: The enemies you come across during the Pacific Rim Warehouse level. Heck, they look more like wrestlers than ninjas.
- Home Version Soundtrack Replacement: The console ports replace the following songs for these stages:
- "Fever" in place of "Toys in the Attic" for the Middle East stage.
- "Dude Looks Like a Lady" replaces "Walk This Way" for the end credits.
- Additionally, "Rag Doll" is used for the title screen. There was no theme song in the original arcade version.
- 100% Completion: Finding the hidden Aerosmith members in the game. Don't and you get a "Congrats, you win but didn't get everything" ending upon beating the game.
- It's Up to You: Aerosmith can't help you; they get run off the stage in the first level and end up hiding out all over the world. Steven even name-drops the trope in his video message at the end of the stage ("It's up to you now; find our car...")
- Jungle Japes: The Amazon.
- La Résistance: What you are essentially doing.
- Levels Take Flight: Level Two, the chopper battle.
- Limited Animation: One of many examples: the NON soldiers forcing Aerosmith out of the stage at the beginning of the game, followed by Helga appearing to taunt you.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Shooting enemies with CD's will turn them into a shower of blood and body parts, and destroying Helga/Mondor at the end leaves blood and bits of flesh raining down on the stage.
- Malevolent Mugshot: Helga's OBEY banners.
- Marathon Boss: All of them, save for that insectoid thing in the Amazon stage (which only needs a gimmick to be beaten). They need an ungodly amount of hits to be taken down, and don't even stop shooting at you while they're being punished. Notably, the armored school bus has a time limit to be destroyed, but it can take so much punishment, you sometimes wonder how is it even possible to beat it. Not that it can't be done, mind you, it's just that hard.
- McNinja: Sure, why not? They dress like Power Rangers, natch.
- Metal Scream: Steven does his occasionally in response to the ongoing action.
- Never Say "Die"NON pilot: Land the chopper now, or we will destroy you!
Helga: I will destroy you!
- Nintendo Hard: At least, if you play solo, this game is a pain in the ass. Supposedly, with more players to share firepower, it becomes more of a cakewalk.
- Ominous Multiple Screens: The final stage, Wembley Sadium. Helga has taken control of the wall of monitors, which you'll have to destroy.
- One-Winged Angel: Helga, the final boss of the game; after you knock her into her throne, she suddenly turns into some minotaur-like monster in biker clothing.
- Unsettling Gender Reveal: Yeah, said monster (named Mondor) is a guy. The implication was Helga was actually some evil alien thing in human disguise trying to brainwash us all.
- The Power of Rock: "Music is the weapon!"
- Reaching Between the Lines: Steve's dressing room mirror conceals a television screen. His recording tells you where to go next, then tosses you his car keys.
- Rope Bridge: You cross one of these in the beginning of the jungle level. You have to cut it to kill this level's boss after luring it onto this bridge.
- Rule of Sexy: Even the Grammy statuettes are busty in this game. This must be how the world looks through the eyes of Steven Tyler.
- Score Multiplier: The Wings are the end-of-stage bonus multipliers.
- Shoot the Television: In the final stage, the player is confronted by a wall of monitors on which Head Mistress Helga taunts you. The player must destroy all of them before facing her directly.
- Mondor's nonplussed reaction to getting its legs blown off. "It's only a flesh wound!"
- Also, the credits end with a "Llamas Trained by" credit, and the screen starts flashing to complete the reference.
- Steven Tyler crying out, "TOASTY!", when you shoot the Skull Bomb. Well, this was made at the height of Kombatmania. Not to mention it's the same developer.
- In the Middle East level, Mortal Kombat II machines can be found.
- "Welcome to the real Pleasuredome!" (Good ending only.)
- Blow up the school bus in the Middle East and you get a screen informing you that "School's Out... Forever."
- The New Order Nation's logo looks like a parody of the Nine Inch Nails logo.
- The game itself is a nuttier take on Kilroy Was Here. A lot nuttier.
- Before the last level begins, Joe Hamilton tells you "Tear down the wall!"
- Mondor's nonplussed reaction to getting its legs blown off. "It's only a flesh wound!"
- Slave Mooks: Berzerkers are ex-musicians who have succumbed to NON brainwashing. They are among the sturdiest enemies in the game, and hurl axe-shaped guitars (geddit?) at the screen.
- Everdrones are hostages who have been turned into zombie workers in the food processing area of the Amazon level. You can knock them down with a gunshot, but they'll get right back up; only a CD will stop them for good (and blow them to pieces), or you can shoot their oxygen tanks on their backs to send them flying.
- Smart Bomb: The Skull Bombs, which kills all onscreen enemies, or inflicts heavy damage on tanks.
- Smooch of Victory: In Club X, freeing the cage dancers will earn the player a kiss from her. Also, in a multiplayer game, the player with the highest score to that point will get a kiss from the bikini girl.
- Spiritual Successor: To the Terminator 2: Judgment Day shooter by the same developer. Several missions are identical, including the chopper shootout and the bus chase (both lifted from the HK battles in T2's ruined future). Midway produced a conversion kit that made it easy for operators to swap the game inside their existing T2 cabinets for Revolution X.
- Stripperiffic: All the cage dancers.
- The Syndicate: The New Order Nation has shell companies all over the world, including Evergreen Chemicals and an outfit called KemmiTech. Their main function seems to be experimenting on scantily clad babes.
- Thong of Shielding: Yes, those cage dancers are 'hostages'.
- Somewhat justified in the labor yard, where the hostages are upgraded to... denim hot pants.
- 20 Bear Asses: You have to find all five members of Aerosmith to get the real ending. The members of the band are ridiculously hard to find, and you only get ONE chance to find each of them. These are five particularly annoying asses.
- Not getting all five asses, in this case, results in quite the A Winner Is You situation. To sum it up: "You beat the game except you didn't, go find the members of Aerosmith!" All of the members of Aerosmith are hidden except for Brad Whitford, who actually has a map telling you where he is... but he's ridiculously difficult to reach. (As mentioned above, Tom Hamilton can be rescued in the very first level if you're quick to make a left [or right] turn upon entrance to Club X. The other four? Good luck.)
- Writing Lines: "Helga's No Nos." An amusing way of outlining the game's goals.NO! Shooting power-ups
NO! Looking for Aerosmith members
- You ALL Look Familiar: Kerri Hoskins, best known for mocapping Sonya Blade in Mortal Kombat 3, plays Mistress Helga. She also posed as the thong-clad cage dancers/chain gang prisoners/lab test subjects throughout the game.
- Zerg Rush: NON troopers have the resiliency of tissue paper. Trouble is, they never stop coming.
Remember, Music is the weapon!