Back in the late 80s / early 90s, when the RoboCop franchise is at it's peak of popularity, Data East managed to obtain the rights to the series. And from there, create a duology of games, based on RoboCop (1987) and RoboCop 2.
Dropping the film's storyline altogether, the games are as much a Pragmatic Adaptation as arcade adaptation goes - the movie's themes of Alex Murphy's losing humanity after being converted into Robocop is dropped for an Excuse Plot consisting of "Robocop shoots bad guys". Gameplay is more or less recycled from DataEast's Bad Dudes a year earlier.
The game is surprisingly a huge success, both critically and commercially. The first game sold over 1 million copies worldwide and is among the 1980s' best-selling home consoles.
DataEast's Robocop Duology contain examples of:
- Airborne Mooks: Enemies on Jet Packs who attacks from above appears in outdoor areas from the first game.
- The Battle Didn't Count: RoboCain, the Final Boss of the sequel (or at least, a robot prototype resembling it's live-action counterpart), in which the entirety of the last stage is pretty much Robocop battling Cain over and over, again, in a number of areas. He's fought in the center of the factory, then escapes after having it's health reduced to a fraction, only to return with a new health bare in a rising platform. It escapes again and is fought on the rooftops, again with a new healthbar. Defeat it and... RoboCain grabs Robocop and tackles him over a railing in a Taking You with Me moment, only to crash in the streets and behold, RoboCain gets another health bar upon hitting the streets. The fourth battle is the longest, but luckily it's also the last.
- Car Fu: Enemy mooks on motorcycles and automobiles will repeatedly attempt ramming their vehicles into Robocop.
- Chicken Walker: The ED-209 from the movies makes a return in video game form, appearing as regular Giant Mook enemies for both games.
- Construction Vehicle Rampage:
- The level set in a junkyard ends with Robocop fighting two car crusher vehicles trying to grab and squash him with their front claws.
- Another stage have Robocop fighting a wrecking ball vehicle.
- Down in the Dumps: The second stage in the first game is set in one filled with wrecked cars, and enemy mooks. And Robocop fights two car crusher vehicles at the end of said stage.
- Hopping Machine: One of the bosses in the second game, a gigantic robot turret with one foot which hops around the area while taking potshots at Robocop.
- In Name Only: The first game might not be actually based on the movie, where the visual similarities are just Mythology Gags. Considering the Dick Jones equivalent is unnamed and doesn't remotely resemble his live-action counterpart (while the OCP executive in the film is identified as... the President).
- Mecha-Mooks: Robotic enemies appears in both games, in large numbers once Robocop made it into the factory stages. And of course, the ED-209, which made more numerous appearances than it's cinematic counterpart.
- Mythology Gag:
President: Nice shooting, son. What's your name?
- The warehouse shootout stage resembles the interiors of the drug packaging plant from the first Robocop movie. Even the mooks have outfits similar to those worn by enemies from the live-action film.
- The Final Boss of the first game, an unnamed terrorist leader, is fought in a penthouse meeting room filled with windows, where he grabs the President as a Human Shield and tries shooting at Robocop from behind cover, practically remaking the ending where Dick Jones tries using the Head of OCP as a hostage. Even the ensuing dialogue is lifted from the movie!
Robocop: Murphy... Alex Murphy.
- Neck Lift: The second game have Robocop interrogating a mook during a cutscene by lifting him from the neck.
- Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Both games, especially the second, have enemy mooks who tries attacking Robocop - a firearm-wielding badass cyborg - with melee weapons, like axes, batons, or dinky little shivs. It ends as predictably as you'd expect.
- Railing Kill: Mooks behind railings and on balconies will automatically fall to their deaths in a single hit.
- Pedestrian Crushes Car:
- Sometimes mooks on vans and automobiles will try attacking Robocop while they're in vehicles. But they're fighting Robocop, who simply wrecks their rides easily, either shooting them enough before they can reach him or punching their rides into scrap.
- The second game have a Quick Time Event where Robocop out-pushes a car trying to crush him, squashing the vehicle and the mook in it into scrap.
- Powered Armor: The second boss of the first game dons one of these to battle Robocop. Which comes with a built-in Grenade Launcher allowing it to spam exploding projectiles all over the area.
- Robotic Undead: For reasons unexplained, there are mechanical zombie-like robots appearing in the warehouse stage, once Robocop made it deep enough into the building's interiors. Their appearance seems to be based on the deformed "Otomo" robots from the second movie, in yet another Mythology Gag.
- Shooting Gallery: The Bonus Stage in-between levels have Robocop practicing in shooting targets before he resumes shooting mooks later on.
- Sniper Rifle: One of the available pickups Robocop can obtain in both games, which looks somewhat like a Barrett M82CQ - an obscenely huge real-life sniper. In-game, it fires a massive projectile shot that allows Robocop to penetrate multiple enemies standing in a straight line, and yet Robocop can easily carry it around on one hand. Then again it's Robocop...
- Spread Shot: One power-up allows Robocop's gun to fire a spread of three shots at once.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: The second game loves doing thse:
- For most of the game, you're shooting enemies from a side-profile (think Contra), but there's an area in an alleyway and another in a weapons factory that suddenly shifts to a behind-the-back perspective (think Cabal).
- There's also two levels that suddenly drops Robocop into a first-person Rail Shooter, where Robocop hops on a motorbike and chases enemy vehicles down the streets of Detroit while shooting at everything in sight.
- Weak Turret Gun: Turrets appears as minor enemies, which can be blasted apart in a single shot.