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Video Game / Silent Scope

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A series of games from Konami spanning 5 games (Silent Scope 1-3, Silent Scope EX (known as SOGEKI in Japan and Asia), and the most recent Silent Scope Bone-Eater), the first of which was released in 1999. The games' most prominent feature is the Sniper Rifle gun mounted to the cabinet rather than the typical pistol Light Gun that was used in games like Time Crisis or House of the Dead. The scope of the rifle contained an LCD screen to simulate the pinpoint precision of real scopes. Also known for being one of the few arcade gun games to actively encourage headshots: They are always an instant kill, even on bosses, and confer a hefty time bonus. Games like Time Crisis gave you the most points for headshots but the SS games actively pointed this out.


The games were ported to the Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and even the Game Boy Advance. The Xbox version was noted for its severely stripped-down rifle accessory and the PS2 and Dreamcast versions were noted for being compatible with a Mouse.

The games include examples of:

  • Ammunition Conservation: In order to get high scores, one needs to conserve ammunition, with kill-streaks ending whenever a shot is missed, bonuses for double kills and accuracy of 100% or higher, measured in bullets per target.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: For human bosses, a headshot is an instant kill. For helicopters, shooting at its rotor will do the trick.
    • The first actual boss in the third game has two. The first is obviously his head. The second is his beloved teddy bear. Hitting either will take him down in one shot.
  • Art Shift: Silent Scope Bone-Eater is this to the whole series, as it has anime-style presentation and characters, as opposed to the realistic approach of the previous games. Also, this game seems to be set 20 Minutes into the Future compared to the earlier Silent Scope games.
  • Battleship Raid: Stage 3 of Bone-Eater has you fighting your way across the outside of a flying battleship.
  • Bland-Name Product: In the first installment, the stadium encounter with Cobra is home to the Chicago Deers.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Boss battles are Nintendo Hard if you do not aim for the craniums. But then again, scoring a head shot is Nintendo Hard in and of itself as you rarely have a clean shot.
  • Catchphrase: In #3 if a criminal has a hostage and it's a One Bullet Left scenario your partner will comment "he's taken hostages, bring him down in one shot." Pull it off and she then comments "You're the greatest."
  • Cold Sniper: In fact, in the attract demo for EX, one of the requirements for the player character's position is to be "unemotional."
  • Cycle of Hurting: It's fairly easy to stun lock several of the first game's bosses. Since they usually have only five life, and you have five bullets in your clip, you could potentially empty a clip at the boss to kill him without him being able to move. Later games gave the bosses more life, and made them move after being shot.
  • Dual Boss: Tom & Jerry in the first, Sho & Kane in the second.
  • Faceless Goons: With a rare few exceptions, almost every Mook will be wearing a balaclava.
  • Heroic Mime: The player character in the first game (He's given a voice and personality in 2 and 3) and EX. (A different character)
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Some of the most ridiculous examples are displayed in boss fights, like sniping the driver of a semi-truck barreling towards you at full speed, or sniping the rotor of a hostile attack helicopter.
    • It's quite possible in certain missions to hit more than one enemy with a single bullet. Don't miss anyone and you'll get greater than 100% accuracy. "Ultimate Sniper" indeed.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Mooks die to one bullet no matter where you hit them, or even if they're wearing body armour. Bosses are tougher, but unless you shoot them in the head, they take as much damage from a bullet to the chest as they do a bullet to the foot.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: What happens if you fail the last One Bullet Left sequence of any game except Bone-Eater.
    "The hostages are our priority, partner."
  • Life Meter:
    • The first two games featured a typical life meter that defaulted to six hits. Getting hit lowered it by one, while shooting civilians lowered it by two. Look at Hot Nurses to replenish health.
    • EX and 3 combined the life meter and timer into a general percentage-based condition meter. It goes down slowly constantly, but will lose large chunks if you're shot, you shoot civilians, or failing a mission (with the latter also has you retry the mission again if the bar isn't depleted). Looking at nurses will give back a large amount of condition, but scoring consistent headshots will also replenish it by a small amount. (But with good accuracy, can really add up), Bone-Eater returns to the hit-based extra lives, where you lose one life per hit.
  • Male Gaze: There are some beautiful women hidden in the games. Scoping them out will give you an extra life.
  • Multiple Endings: The endings in the game are determined at the end based on whether you manage to land one last crucial shot with one final bullet. Land the shot and you get the good ending. Miss, and you get the bad ending, Bone-Eater averts this trope.
  • Nintendo Hard: You are expected to do impossible feats with a sniper rifle, especially halfway to the end of the game. The second and third games, including EX, are noticeably harder as well.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Everyone else except for the protagonists in Bone Eater.
  • No Scope: One possible Self-Imposed Challenge is to not look into the scope. In fact, a few enemies will be so close to you that it's trivial to headshot them without the scope.
    • Almost an essential tactic for most of the final stage of the first game.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The music for the penultimate boss area in the first game uses this.
  • One Bullet Left: The final objective in every game enforces you with only one chance to deliver a vital shot on the final boss for the good ending (Except for Bone-Eater). The first two stages of EX also fall under this.
  • One-Hit Polykill: Possible if the Mooks are standing in front of each other.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Most bosses, especially in #3.
  • Performance Artist:
    • The Star in #2 battles you on the stage of an opera house, complete with operatic opening and unique boss music. His weapons are even listed as 'Hand Gun' and 'Tenor.' Even the protagonists loudly wonder what the hell.
    • EX's boss Prince of Rose is awfully dramatic and mobile with his monologue, and uses a piano to input launch commands.
  • Pun: In the first two games, you can look at a waiter to increase your timer. ("Wait-er," oh ha ha ha.)
  • Rogue Protagonist: Falcon and Jackal can be one of the terrorist suspects attempting to assassinate the President in the EX plot.
  • Shared Life-Meter: If the boss you're fighting is in a vehicle (such as a truck or a fighter jet), both the operator and the vehicle will share the same health meter. Shooting the operator will take off more health than shooting whatever they're controlling, and of course a headshot will send the operator and their vehicle packing.
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: The player winds up making use of this trope fairly often, using his sniper rifle to take out hostile guards a few feet away.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The first game had you fight a pair of bosses named Tom and Jerry.
    • One of the new player characters in the second game is codenamed Jackal.
    • In the second game's second mission, Falcon quips "Now let's play Metal Gear for real!" while sneaking into a base.
  • Sniper Duel:
    • One potential path in 1 features a duel with Hornet, a rival sniper.
    • Multiplayer/versus mode in Silent Scope 2 and beyond.
    • One of the last few challenges in Silent Scope 2 is a duel with your partner.
    • You face off with another rival sniper, Ray, in 3. And if you access the true ending, your commander Robert.
    • You against Tokage in Bone-Eater.
  • Sniper Rifle: Obviously.
  • Sniper Scope Sway: Since the arcade machine has an actual sniper rifle to hold, complete with a zoomed in screen to allow you to use the scope, any sway and bob to your view is the result of your actual movements. As a result the real world techniques of relaxing, holding your breath, and so on apply, but since the rifle is mounted and you're typically not aiming at targets that are too distant, you don't need to worry about it as much as real snipers.
  • Sniping Mission: Every level.
  • Sniping the Cockpit: A common technique for taking out vehicles, including most vehicle based bosses. Examples include sniping a Harrier jet from a helicopter, shooting one boss trying to run you down in a hijacked semi, taking out one boss in a large combat chopper, and even a transforming tank with cloaking capabilities. It should be noted that the vehicle and its driver or pilot share the same Life Meter, which can result in strange cases such as drilling 19 shots into a truck and then killing the driver with the 20th even though the driver hasn't taken any bullets to that point.
  • Space Elevator: An orbital elevator serves as the final stage of Bone-Eater.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Every level to a degree; being caught (often from dillydallying for too long or missing a shot) doesn't end the game but will call the attention of additional Mooks. In one particular penultimate stage in EX, getting caught results in stage failure, booting you back to the stage select with a lot less health (or if you don't have enough, a continue screen).
  • Timed Mission:
    • In general, the first two games feature a timer as well as a life meter. Killing enemies gains time, with headshots gaining considerably more time. Stare at waiters to gain a large chunk of time back.
    • EX and 3 combine the timer and life bars into a general condition meter. It still ticks down slowly.
    • Certain missions feature another timer, requiring you to complete the stage quickly beyond even the standard timer. One of the possible penultimate stages in EX has you trying to sneak into an underwater entrance before it closes.
  • Victory Fakeout: In Bone-Eater, near the end of Mission 3, it at first seems that the level is complete, with "Mission Complete" appearing on-screen. Leila, your spotter, interrupts however in order to pursue the boss.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Both versions of Scorpion in 1, and Fox in 2.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: The player gets no other weapons than a sniper rifle and gets no backup, so it doesn't matter if it's a tank, a helicopter, a mook standing three inches away from you, or whatever else; you're sniping it to death.