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Video Game / Rocket Ranger

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"One hundred years ago, the Nazis won World War II. It was a mistake. But you can correct it..."

Rocket Ranger is a video game released by Cinemaware. It is an Alternate History Science Fiction work, where Germany made a sudden technological advancement in 1940, gaining the ability to construct rockets and chemical bombs. The protagonist, a brilliant scientist working at Fort Dix, is working in his laboratory late one night when five objects spontaneously appear on his desk before his eyes; A Rocket Pack, a Pistol, a Strange Looking Wristwatch, a disc labeled SECRET DECODER WHEEL, and a book with the title, "ROCKET PACK INSTRUCTIONS".


On December 17th, 2014, a reboot was planned after just squeaking over the finish line of its Kickstarter. Unfortunately, it was later cancelled.

This work provides examples of:

  • Applied Phlebotinum: The Lunarium is mined on the moon, and is used to create bombs that lowers intelligence in males and makes them sterile. The result is that any effective resistance is eliminated.
  • Copy Protection: Justified, as it's used to determine how much fuel you need to use the rocket. Note that it must be exact, as putting in too much causes you to either fly to a random location or overshoot the target.
  • Damsel in Distress: Jane and her dad get kidnapped by the Nazis a lot.
  • Dialogue Tree: One pops up when talking with Jane and Dr. Barnstorff.
  • Every Bullet Is a Tracer: Only the temple shoot-out uses tracer bullets, simply because it's to show that an attack is in progress. The airplane dogfight doesn't use tracers.
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  • Expy: The whole concept is rather blatant take on The Rocketeer comic book (the game predates the movie adaptation).
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: After you finished clearing the moon base, an alien tears the text saying you've won, then attacks.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: In the War Room, it only takes ~10-15 seconds for a month to pass. Spy reports generally take that long to announce. When travelling, time advances only on world travel.
  • Nintendo Hard: One of the most common complaints leveled at the game back in the day was that, most likely to hide or counterbalance the fact that it could theoretically be finished in half an hour, Rocket Ranger was made fiendishly difficult. Many of the game's levels require split-second reactions and pixel-perfect accuracy - often beyond the capabilities of the game's primitive technology to even handle, essentially turning each into a Luck-Based Mission - there's no saving the game, the difficulty spike towards the end is absolutely ludicrous (and coupled with an instant game over if you fail during it), and while failing most missions wouldn't outright kill you, the time limit on the game was so punishing that in practice making even the smallest of mistakes could make unwinnable.
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  • Non-Lethal K.O.: You can get shot down by airplanes, but at worst, it kicks you to another country. However, missing the Copy Protection causes death.
  • No Swastikas: Some versions, such as the NES version, don't have you fighting the Nazis. Instead, you fight the Interplanetary Union of Fascists directly.
  • Police State: Any country under Nazi command.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The whole point of the game. The protagonist is sent the Rocket Ranger gear by an unknown, possibly extraterrestrial party from one hundred years in the future.
  • Stupidity-Inducing Attack: Lunarium can reduce male IQ by up to 30 points, and lunarium bombs are used to exploit that fact.
  • Subtitles Are Superfluous: While there's plenty of text, the few voiced scenes are unsubtitled.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Main antagonists.

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