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Video Game / Serious Sam II

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"You have exactly five seconds to explain what I'm doing here, and two seconds have passed."
Sam Stone

Serious Sam II is a First-Person Shooter videogame created by Croteam in 2004 and published by 2K Games for PC and Xbox. It's the third installment in the Serious Sam series.

After the events of Serious Sam: The Second Encounter, Sam has been summoned by three individuals who introduce themselves as the "Sirian Great Council" (the calm and collected Jebediah, the snarky Rajiv, and their leader, Rolanda) who brief him about a medallion created to weaken Sam's long time Arch-Enemy Mental. Said artifact was broken into five pieces which were scattered across civilizations on five planets: the Simbas of M'Digbo, the Zixies of Magnor, the ChiChi of Chi-Fang, the Kleer of Planet Kleer and the Elvians of Ellenier. It's then up to Sam to retrieve and unify these pieces in order to put a definitive end to Mental and his army.

The game is a step back regarding the previous installments, scaling back the horde and secret count, the weaponry and even the enemy variety. It also features a cartoony, almost comical look, which contrasts heavily with the previous games's more... Ehm... Serious look. The weaponry has been overhauled, with a few returning weapons (both varieties of the Shotgun, the Grenade Launcher, the Rocket Launcher, the Serious Minigun, the Cannon, the Sniper Rifle and the Serious Bomb) joined by newer ones (a chainsaw gauntlet, a self-recharging blaster, a pair of Uzis and a bomb-carrying parrot). Vehicles are also introduced in the series, with Sam being able to use flying hovertanks, turrets and a spiked hamster ball. All in all, it's easy to say that II is the least "Serious" of Sam's games.

Unlike the other main entries, this game hasn't received either an HD or VR release, in part due to its Troubled Production and plenty of Executive Meddling from 2K which led to Croteam first disowning the game, and then excising it completely from the SS canon, though Croteam has been hinting either a proper remake (more in line with TFE and TSE) or remaster of the game for quite a long time.

On March 23, 2021, the game received an unannounced, surprise update which allows Sam to sprint, Rocket Jump and dual-wield all of his weapons, added two new weapons called the "BeamGun" (the Ghost Buster from the original documents for TFE) and a Flamethrower, a Legion-esque system for single-player and coop sessions which allows Sam to face SS4-levels of enemies, 12 new, previously unreleased maps for multiplayer, and a radar, and plenty of bug fixes and improvements.

Followed chronologically by a prequel to TFE, Serious Sam 3: BFE.

See also

Secret trope list found!

  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: The Sewer level which connects Kingsburg with the Castle of Rock in the Ellenier levels. Aside of its smell (which even NETRICSA complains about) it features a small amount of enemies compared with other levels in spite of its size. Lampshaded by Sam at the beginning of the level:
    "I knew it! There ain't no games without sewer levels."
  • Abnormal Ammo: Klodovic, the Kamikaze Parrot, is a suicidal parrot carrying a bomb.
  • Action Bomb: In addition to the Kamikazes and Marcel the Clown enemies, Sam also gets to use one in the form of a "heat-seeking" kamikaze parrot called Klodovic.
  • Adapted Out: The Xbox port does not contain the final boss fight against The Mental Institution. Once you get to the end of the level, it simply skips to the ending cutscene.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: The first part of the fight against Hugo and The Mental Institution
  • African Chant: The Magnor forest levels (and some of the levels in M'Digbo) feature action music with these stock sounds.
  • Alien Blood: Monsters come with three blood colors aside of red: green, purple and yellow.
  • Alien Sky: A lot of instances, considering the entire game consists of traversing alien planets.
  • All Planets Are Earth-Like: Every planet in the game is depicted in a setting which doesn't vary much from Earth landscapes: M'Digbo is an African-like jungle, Magnor has swamps, high-altitude villages and a junkyard, Chi-Fang is the game's stand-in for China, Planet Kleer is an even eviler version of Australia, and Ellenier is a medieval land with plenty of contemporary European influence. As for Sirius, its moon is half a military base and half a polar outpost - and, seen from space, the planet is literally Earth turned 90 degrees.
  • Apocalypse How: Planet Kleer suffered from this due to having seven million tons of napalm dropped over it, incinerating absolutely everything on it, but the air is still breathable.
  • Art Evolution: Goes from looking like a Duke Nukem clone to a cartoony buff dude.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • NPCs have a tendency to put themselves in danger in crossfires, prompting them to get killed. They also have the potential of risking Sam's life if the player is using explosive weapons.
    • Enemies are still as dumb as they come. This was excusable in TFE and TSE due to their weaknesses being hidden behind their huge numbers, so in order to compensate for the lower amount of creatures, the enemy AI is improved a bit. Some ranged enemies will strafe while firing.
  • Bag of Spilling: Sam's health, armor, and extra lives are all reset to default at the end of each planet, presumably so players won't have to worry about conserving them.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: The Sirius council. The brothers and sister appear to be from different races and species.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Along with being Denser and Wackier, II is this, ironically enough, by default due to the lack of the fantastical gore (Kid Blood, Hippie Blood, etc.)
  • Booby Trap: Many items spawn enemies. Most notably, optional pills and small armor shards often trigger ambushes.
  • Border Patrol: The game makes you start losing health if you wander too far out into the Magnor swamp past the blue lights (presumably where the swamp becomes too toxic to stand in).
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: The first two Magnor levels take place in a Sirian base located in such a swamp.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Croteam has been dropping hints for quite some time about a much more serious remake of this game more in line with BFE, TFE and TSE. This makes the original Serious Sam 2 non-canon.
  • Cartoon Bomb: The Serious Bomb.
  • Chainsaw Good: A gauntlet chainsaw replaces all other melee weapons in this game. Useful against Kleer Skeletons due to its significant range.
  • Charged Attack: II's Zap Gun shots deal more damage the longer the fire button is held.
  • Checkpoint: At the beginning of each level, the game saves its state. Should Sam lose a life, Sam respawns with his arsenal at the closest savepoint, regardless if it was autosaved or manually saved.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: At one point during the second Planet Kleer level, Sam crosses over a river of lava by jumping across platforms made of cooled lava, which are floating barely an inch higher than the lava itself.
  • Crate Expectations: Almost every crate or vase contains an item.
    Sam: I hate crates!
  • Death of a Child: Some of the different children across the game's tribes are killed on-screen during the crossfires between Sam and the baddies.
  • Deadly Game: After getting captured on Sirius, Sam has to survive 3 days in a The Running Man-style alien game show.
  • Denser and Wackier: Compared to the rest of the series.
    • The ambience is much more cartoony and laid-back than the other games. For example, boss cutscenes feature Sam calling to Boss 'R Us for an end-of-level boss or the baddie growing to huge proportions by... Just doing a magic trick in a circus.
    • The monsters Sam faces fall into two categories: either twisted recreations of the originals such as the "Beheaded" Kamikazes, who have a big Serious Bomb for a head instead of headless men holding bombs, or twisted counterparts such as Marcel the Clown, a kamikaze monocycle, well, Monster Clown.
    • As for the weapons, one of them, the Klodovic, is an alien parrot with a bomb. The shotguns also got silly redesigns and the pistol now looks like a toy version of the Dispersion Pistol from Unreal (more specifically, the version from Unreal II: The Awakening, of all things). Only the SBC Cannon, the Grenade Launcher, the Serious Minigun and the Serious Bomb haven't went through a redesign.
  • Destructible Projectiles: Missiles both from Sam and from monsters can be shot down.
  • Disc-One Nuke: The Rocket Launcher, which is found at the very start of the original games if you take your time to explore the first level.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The medallion Sam is tasked to retrieve has been split into five parts, with each part being kept by a separate community at each planet.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Picking up a mere 1HP or 1 armor pickup might trigger an ambush with hordes of enemies, some of them being high-tier.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • The Anacondas and Uzis are always used two at a time, a bug in the original version of the game allows Sam to dual the Zap Gun/Uzis with the Anaconda.
    • Version 2.90 allows Sam to dual-wield everything as well as mix and match.
  • Elvis Impersonator: The King in planet Ellenier. He has the hair, and his wedding takes place in the Castle of Rock. In fact, Sam must collect four of his most well known singles in order to be able to attend the wedding ceremony.
  • Emergency Weapon: The redesigned P-Lah (now a gauntlet chainsaw), the Zap Gun and the ranged Colt Anacondas.
  • Enemy Summoner:
    • Giant spiders spawn lesser spiders.
    • ZumZum spawns lesser bugs that explode upon contact with Sam.
  • Escort Mission: Certain levels in II will have Sam trying to protect a key NPC from an oncoming horde of enemies. Fortunately, he usually has backup, and said NPC is also capable of protecting himself.
    • The Simba village level has Sam protecting its head chief.
    • The fight against Kwongo is an odd example of an escort boss fight, since instead of attacking the boss directly, Sam has to protect a bunch of catapults and the Simbas manning them from enemies while they attack Kwongo instead. While it isn't an instant game over if they're lost, they're the only thing that deals any actual damage to the boss, as Sam's weapons only deal pitiful scratch damage even with Serious Damage power-ups, so he's in serious trouble if they're lost and Kwongo isn't down to a sliver of health.
  • Every 10,000 Points: It's a rare example of seeing it in a first-person shooter, especially in a series made after the year 2000. Getting high scores in the game will award you extra lives.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Subverted. Some of the levels are sparsely populated with friendly natives who cheer you on, give you powerups, and even sometimes act as helpful NPC allies in combat.
  • Evil Laugh: Count Kleerofski has a maniacal evil laugh.
  • Exploding Barrels: Exploding barrels do make an appearance as a fairly common stage hazard. They don't do much damage but do contain items.
  • Expy: Many of the concepts and enemies first introduced in The Next Encounter have appeared in II in one form or another. For instance, NE has Dum Dums while II gets extremely similar Slimeballs. Ditto for Uzis and Martial Arts Masters.
  • Flunky Boss:
    • Played at both sides in the Kwongo battle: Mental's armies try to bring down the Simbas who Sam is protecting and try to decimate Kwongo with their catapults.
    • By way of being an Enemy Summoner, ZumZum, who fights while spawning countless of kamikaze bees.
    • Most of the battle against Prince Chan involves Sam battling him as well as Mental's minions.
    • Also by way of being a summoner, the Mental Institution sends all kinds of flying jets (in both kamikaze and regular form) against Sam's vehicle.
  • Floating Continent: Small islands floating above the surface of the planet Ellenier, which Sam gets to travel during his search for Cecil.
  • For the Evulz: Mental is kind of a douche.
    • The Witches in Serious Sam II were former beauty queens lured in by a contest. The winners all got turned into hideous old women, and Mental was easily able to recruit them, thanks to their destroyed self-esteem.
    • One of Mental's goons in the same game, Hellchick, robbed from the poor to give to the rich. Just 'cause. Mental was so impressed, he hired her.
  • Futuristic Pyramid: The Mental Institution takes the form of a giant pyramid and is set on the outskirts of the futuristic cities of Sirius.
  • Good Bad Bugs: A bug allowed Sam to dual wield an Anaconda revolver with the Zap gun/Uzi.
    • The updated version increased the ROF of the Uzi to double, making them faster firing than the minigun if used dual-wielded like the original game.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: T. Wrecks chomp on cigars... even though they're just a dinosaur head on a mech body.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The medallion pieces Sam is tasked to retrieve.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Zixie tribe you need to meet is described as hidden, and also claimed to not be too trusting of strangers. When Sam enters the village, the Zixies instead appear to be welcoming.
  • Homing Projectile: Several enemy classes have projectiles that home on the player, particularly the enemies that fire slower projectiles.
  • Lead the Target: The different spiders can shoot twice, with the second shot being directed towards where Sam can land after missing the first projectile.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: One of the missions of planet Ellenier is called "Coast 2 Cost".
  • Idiot Hero: Sam seems to lack some bits of proper judgement sometimes. However, he does what's needed in order to stop the Mental menace once and for all.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Treasure chests in this game not only yield points, but also are located in highly improbable places.
  • Insectoid Aliens: The Scorp Soldiers, this game's version of the Arachnoids, are sentient and use weapons and armor as well as their stingers for melee attack, but don't move around much.
  • Invisible Wall: II was quite a heavy offender, and includes them in very uncomfortable positions.
  • Jungle Japes: M'Digbo, the first world, takes place in an african-like jungle with several native tribes scattered throughout the planet.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Sam is depicted with a The Tick-esque huge chin.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The entire planet Kleer, which is Fire and Brimstone Hell in planet form.
  • Lighter and Softer: II was much more brightly colored and cartoonish than the first two games, and upped the gags. While TFE had quite a few jokes, and TSE began introducing Mental's goons as horror show rejects, sun burn victims, and all around weirdos, II really upped the jokes.
  • Living Structure Monster: The Mental Institution.
  • Macro Zone: Planet Magnor has some huge venues all around, but this is more noticeable in the Giant Junkyard level.
  • Marathon Level: "Mental Institution".
  • Meaningless Lives: Losing all lives during a level give the player two options: Start the mission from the beginning, or continue with the added penalty of a frozen score.
  • Medium Awareness: The now-talking NETRICSA and Sam take turns lampshading the fact that they're characters in a video game depending on the level.
  • Monster Clown: The Marcel the Clown enemy is an unicycle-riding kamikaze clown sprouting an annoying laugh.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: There's an Elvis Impersonator in planet Ellenier.
  • No Fair Cheating: You can't get points at the end of the level when using cheats.
  • No-Gear Level: After completing each chapter, you'll have only basic weapons remaining.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • The velocirraptors Sam can use to travel across some areas of the first M'Digbo level (and its even beefier, secret counterpart) only appear in that level.
    • Sam can only get the "Serious Jump" item in the Cecil Boss Battle.
    • The exploding jets only appear in the level "Mental Institution".
  • 1-Up: One of the pickups, shaped as a tropified Sam.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: II included absolutely serious sceneries and lacked any kind of swearing discounting one "damn" said by Sam in the ending. Still, the ESRB rose the rating to M thanks to the explicit amount of blood and gore, in contrast to Australian (15+) and European releases (12+). And that's with 2K Games requesting Croteam making the game lighter and softer so it would appeal to younger audiences.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Sci-fi orcs in this case. They have green skin and are in space suits.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: All Beheaded other than the Kamikazes are absent, but the game has a range of more traditional undead in the form of shotgun-wielding Zombie Stockbrokers, German soldier zombies armed with miniguns, and zombie martial artists.
  • Plot Coupon: The medallion. Sam needs to recover all five pieces that form it in order to be able to fight and defeat Mental. Turns out, it's all part of a ruse, and the medallion does nothing, as the "Sirian Great Council" has boxes full of them. This obviously pisses off Sam to no end.
  • Puzzle Boss: All of the bosses have one or more requirements in order to down them for good:
    • Kwongo requires Sam to keep the Simbas (who are attacked by hordes of Mental's minions) alive and their catapults in one piece, as these are the only way to inflict significant damage on the boss.
    • ZumZum spawns enemies constantly and can regenerate by consuming polen from nearby flowers.
    • Prince Chan is hugely susceptible to the sound of the gong atop of the tower. He's also reinforced by Mental's minions and his own as well.
    • Count Kleerofski needs some crystals in order to regenerate himself. Sam must build a network in order to disable it and put him down for good.
    • The only way to deal significant damage to Cecil is by finding wooden arrows scattered across the arena and using them in the turrets scattered across the level.
    • Hugo is invulnerable during the first phase of the fight, so Sam must find a jet and gather ammo for it in order to bring it down.
    • Finally, the Mental Institution can only be damaged by shooting at its exposed core. It's also another Advancing Boss of Doom, with an "Instant Death" Radius to boot.
  • Quad Damage: The Serious Damage powerup.
    "Serious Damage!"
  • Recurring Riff: A certain riff plays during battle music of Ursul Gardens, most of Planet Kleer levels, and when getting a medal piece.
  • Regenerating Health: Inverted, Sam's health and/or armor would drop if it exceed 100.
  • Remilitarized Zone: Planet Kronor is a heavily militarized moon.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Most breakable objects contain a useful item.
  • Ribcage Ridge: Lots of giant skeletons found in planet Kleer.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • After finishing the swamps portion of Magnor, Sam notices a Zixie getting trapped. He also ends up being trapped and they're both taken prisoners until the rest of the Zixies come to their aid.
    • After reaching the shield generator in Sirius, Sam encounters an obvious snare trap with a bunch of bananas in the middle. He immediately falls for it.
  • Sentry Gun: There are stationary Cannon, Rocket and plasma turrets.
  • Series Fauxnale: II is built up as if it's the final game in the series, with Sam collecting parts of a Dismantled MacGuffin to defeat Mental with before finally storming Sirius, Mental's homebase, and even getting into a massive battle with Mental's house. When it comes time for the final showdown, however, Mental distracts Sam with a voice recording of himself in a dark room while he escapes in a flying saucer.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Zigzagged, the Double Barreled Shotgun has classic short video game range but the single barrel shotgun has surprisingly far range, making it a viable alternative as opposed to being outclassed by it like other Sam games.
  • Spider Tank: There are giant spider robots of two sizes.
  • Spinning Out of Here: Shaman NPC teleports by spinning.
  • Sprint Shoes: Picking up winged shoes allows Sam to move faster for a short period of time.
  • Spoofs "R" Us: Sam summons the level boss of Magnor by calling Boss 'R Us.
  • Springs, Springs Everywhere: In planet Kleer, there are steam vents that launch the player in the air. In Sirius, there are a few jump pads that do the same.
  • Stock Money Bag: One of the things that yield points is a stock money bag.
  • Story Overwrite: End of level cutscenes in II show Sam walking through a battlefield where disappeared bodies not only appeared again, but also include enemies not fought in the said area.
  • Suddenly Voiced: NETRICSA. Her reason for doing so? "A bigger game budget".
  • Sugar Bowl: Parodied with Planet Ellenier, which indeed looks like a cheerful and colorful High Fantasy medieval world, even though Sam came to deal with Mental's baddies as well as a kidnapper dragon.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: A lot of the game's enemies are just Denser and Wackier counterparts to the classic enemies from the other games, such as the Rhino Cybertoy to the Sirian Werebull, the T-Mech to the Biomechanoid, and Marcel the Clown to the Beheaded Kamikaze, despite the fact the Beheaded Kamikaze is one of the few returning enemies, albeit with a new design.
  • Take That!:
    • Serious Sam is brought back because "Some blondie guy was taking forever".
    • After going through a cave in the second level, NETRICSA urges Sam to hurry up because the place is shaking, after which Sam replies with this:
    "I may shake, but I won't Quake."
  • Tempting Fate: Before the first Branchester level in Magnor, the Zixie chieftain proclaims that Mental will never find their tribe. Cue Mental's baddies storming the area.
  • Trapped in TV Land: A variation: Sam's love for bananas gets him trapped in Sirius, and he gets placed in a series of televised challenges for the pleasure of the Sirians... And the millions watching all over the galaxies.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Want to push the Simbas, including their children, off cliffs, or to drown in pools? Go for it. You won't be penalized, you monster, you.
  • Wutai: Planet Chi-Fang is a spoof of China.

"Maybe we've got to beat the game in Serious difficulty?"
"Yes, that must be it!"
"Aww... Damn! I could never do that."
"Oh man, it's not fair!"
"Err... I'm sorry gentlemen, I have beaten the game on Serious, but Mental didn't appear anyway."
"I've never seen a more stupid ending to a game..."

Alternative Title(s): Serious Sam 2