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Video Game / Tony Hawk's Underground

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"Music pow-pow-POWER."

I gotta give it to ya', that run was bullshit. No, in a good way though.
Bam Margera

Tony Hawk's Underground (commonly abbreviated as THUG) is a short series of two games that came between the classic Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games and the rest of the series. It was the first in the series to feature an actual story line, and introduced the ability to get off your board and jump all over shit.

The first THUG was released for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox, and Game Boy Advance, and followed the player character as they rise to stardom with their childhood friend, Eric Sparrow, then have a bitter falling out after Eric starts becoming jealous as the player character starts to leave Sparrow in his dust, before Eric gets drunk and hijacks a tank. It's funny, but still quite a bit Darker and Edgier and action-oriented than the rest of the series. A Windows PC port also exists if you're in Australia or New Zealand.

The second game, Tony Hawk's Underground 2, takes place a year after Underground 1 and focuses on the World Destruction Tour, which is totally not similar to Jackass.note  The celeb skaters (which are largely made up of people involved with Jackass) are divided into two teams and do dangerous and stupid stunts for points. The player character in this game takes a back seat to celebrity slapstick shenanigans as the tour takes him or her all across the world, to four continents in total.

This sub-series provides examples of:

  • Acrofatic: Ben Franklin averts this by having extremely low stats even by the player's standards, but Shrek plays this straight by having maxed-out stats all around.
  • The Alleged Car: One goal in the New York level of Underground has the player intentionally trashing an old car so its owner can use the insurance money to buy new shoes.
  • All Germans Are Nazis: Averted with Berlin in the second game; instead, it opts for Oktoberfest. Given the game's proclivity for National Stereotypes, this depiction can be seen as either an attempt to keep things T-rated or a line being drawn at an outdated stereotype.
  • All There in the Manual: The official BradyGames guide has an intro that states Underground 2 takes place one year after the first game, and confirms the protagonist being the same in both game. It also explains that them and the other pros are feeling burnout from the pro scene, which is why Tony and Bam create the World Destruction Tour.
  • Ambiguously Bi: There are several instances in the first game where female NPCs will flirt with the female Player Character:
    • If the PC manages to impress the girls at the beach in Hawaii they will flirt with them by offering the male (as well as female) PC to rub lotion on their back.
    • In Moscow, if you impress the former circus performer-turned-actress with your tricks she flirts with the Player Character of either gender.
    • Later on when asked by another NPC if the PC is interested in Russian women they will answer positively even if they are female.
  • Ascended Extra: Bam Margera was introduced to the franchise in Pro Skater 3, and only had a minor role in the THUG 1story mode; in THUG 2, Bam is an integral part of the story mode (Which plays out like an episode of Viva La Bam) and is the only skater to join Tony Hawk on the cover art.
  • Big Bad Friend: Eric, after the Hawaii level.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: You can play as Bigfoot in Underground 2.
  • Big Eater: Todd. When the player first meets him, he says he has to finish some hamburgers before he goes out to eat.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In Underground 2, Paulie "Wheels of Fury" Ryan says this to a Spanish woman:
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: When arriving in New Orleans in Underground 2, Tony says this:
    Another town, another party. And ain't no party bigger than Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Drunks, idiots, and drunk idiots.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: In Underground 2, Eric Sparrow not only pissed himself, but crapped himself after Bam pulled the chainsaw away.
  • Butt-Monkey: Eric Sparrow, and to a lesser extent, Bob Burnquist in Underground 2. The same game also gives us Nigel Beaverhausen.
  • Canada, Eh?: Vancouver, where Slam City Jam is held in the first game. There's even a hockey rink in that level. The second game has the Canada level from THPS3 as one of the levels in Classic Mode, complete with snow and pine trees.
  • Canon Name: Two of them actually. Odd since the player character is the same in both games. They are referred to as "Steve" in the Pre-Made skaters of Underground and "Chris" in Underground 2.
  • Cats Are Mean: Skatopia from Underground 2 features a purple cat that will attack the player if they approach it at the top of the hill.
  • Chainsaw Good: In Skatopia, Jesse James had a skateboard rigged with a chainsaw engine for you to use. A bigfoot comes from out of nowhere and steals it.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Eric Sparrow's primary characteristic in the first game.
  • Company Cameo: Slam City Jam in the first Underground has various ads for real-life companies adorning the stadium, including one with the logo of Neversoft, the game's developers.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In the player character's room in Underground, there's a poster of Daisy on the wall, a skater from Pro Skater 4. There's also a crude mockup version of her without her most memorable characteristic in the "Pre-Made Custom Skaters" section. A copy of the game can be seen briefly on the player's desk, in the cutscene following the character creation in Story Mode.
    • Ollie the Bum makes his final appearance in the series towards the beginning of Underground. He looks and sounds much less comedic and much more like a cracked-out homeless person. And he's no longer "Magic".
    • Eric Sparrow is one of the pro skaters on Bam's team in Underground 2, but he doesn't play a major role. He's treated as the Butt-Monkey throughout the game, with the player character and Sparrow switching teams for a level at one point. While the switch is in place, Hawk messages you saying that they need you back on the team because Sparrow just bailed and took out a brass band in the process (possibly killing the tuba player).
    • Like the first game, the player is chosen to trick over the helicopter in the New Orleans level. The BradyGames guide even references it.
  • Crossover: 2 features Jesse James, Wee Man, Phil Margera and Steve-O from Jackass as members of Bam's skate crew and recurring players of the World Destruction Tour.
  • Demoted to Extra: The player character in Underground 2. While they were the main focus of the first game, they take a backseat to Tony and Bam's antics in the second. They rarely speak in cutscenes and have almost no interaction with anyone including Eric, despite their rivalry having a major role in the plot of Underground.
  • Denser and Wackier: The series themselves aren't too serious with their objectives and Funny Background Events but Underground 2 basically combines the Tony Hawk games with Jackass and a cartoon with the amount of destruction that seems infeasible in real life without hurting anyone and how many characters survive injuries that would kill or cripple them in real life. The graphics also became cartoonier with more exaggerated facial expressions.
  • Disaster Dominoes: The second game turns this trope into a gameplay mechanic. By performing a trick in a certain place, you can trigger a cutscene of a series of things getting broken, radically reshaping the level.
  • Ephebophile: In Moscow, if the Player Character manages to impress an actress with their tricks, she will suggestively flirt with the PC... even if the PC is 16 years old and is still a minor.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Eric seems like a normal, if slightly douchey, friend after being introduced to him, but the first sign he's bad news is that he torched the drug dealer's car.note  Though "accidentally" forgetting to register you for Tampa AM (and his fuming in anger after you win it) showed how much of a backstabber he'll become.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Eric Sparrow at the end of the story.
  • Fat Bastard: Todd, the manager of your team from the first game. A sleazeball who was willing to let you rot in Russia to evade paying $700,000 in damages from a stunt Eric framed you for.
  • Flanderization: Bam Margera is, well... Bam Margera, just turned up to eleven.
    Bam: Tanks. Oh, tanks. Look at these tanks. [Later] It's so good, we can't go skating now, look at these tanks.
  • Fun with Acronyms: THUG. Followed by the perplexing THAW with American Wasteland.
  • Funny Foreigner: Nigel Beaverhausen, a British video producer that hounds you in the second game.
  • The Ghost: One recurring mission in Underground 2 is to spray your own tag over that of someone who leaves their own marked "Spat". Even after the game's storyline ends, we never even get a hint of just who was behind the Spat tags, or how they were able seemingly stay one step ahead of the World Destruction Tour (since it seems awfully convenient that the tagger happened to hit all the same cities).
  • Green Hill Zone: New Jersey in the first game and the remake of Warehouse in Underground 2.
  • Groin Attack:
    • At the end of the Boston level, Hawk's team have to lose a guy by having the team play Russian Roulette with a tennis ball launcher at crotch level. Bob Burnquist was the unlucky victim.
    • It's also possible for certain grinds to end this way if you're on a rail and you lose your balance.
  • Guest Fighter:
  • Guest-Star Party Member: In Underground 2, each leg of story mode divides the list of goals according to four playable characters. Besides your own skater, you have:
    • The pro assigned to your team, which you can choose from: Bob Burnquistnote , Rodney Mullen, Chad Muska and Mike Vallely. Berlin and Skatopia are the exceptions as Bamnote  and Tony fill in for each level respectively.
    • A "guest" skater themed after the level. For example, Boston has a Ben Franklin impersonator, Barcelona has a matador, Australia has a shrimp vendor, etc.
    • A "secret" character who has their own unique vehicle as opposed to a skateboard, like Steve-O on a mechanical bull. They each have their own unique movesets and can accomplish tasks the others ordinarily can't, but cannot move on foot.
  • Guide Dang It!: The Rail and Manual skill points that aren't just holding a grind/manual for a given amount of time involve performing esoteric tricks such as Lipslide, Darkslide, Casper, and Half Cab Impossible, and the game isn't in a particular hurry to actually tell you how to do them.
  • Handicapped Badass: Paulie "Wheels of Fury" Ryan, who, despite being in a wheelchair and having casts all over most of his body, is still willing to kick and insult the player character and can pull his weight for Team Bam. He's also an unlockable skater, and still wears his casts when you play as him!
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The dialogue in the first THUG is cleverly written to avoid using the character's name but still seem fluid. In the second game, the player character is so unimportant to the story it doesn't really come up.
  • Idiot Ball: Eric keeps screwing the player character over at every single opportunity, yet the player character keeps forgiving him and asking him for help. It isn't until Eric frames the player character for grand theft tank and massive property damage, leaving him stranded in Moscow without a passport that they finally take the hint.
  • Interface Spoiler: Underground 2 has three:
    • The intro features random cutscenes from the game, including Bob Burnquist being kicked off of Team Hawk.
    • The main menu is on the "Wheel of Loogies", which won't be introduced until the end of the first chapter.
    • The credits video can be accessed at any time, but it features spoilers about the plot and objectives.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: A feature that was advertised in the first game's marketing. In-game however, the time of the day was tied to story progression (usually changing after certain missions or each chapter) and the player could set the time of day in Free Skate. THUG2 would have a proper internal game clock where time passed as you played, which reappeared in THAW.
  • Invisible Parents: In the first game. While it is implied that your character and Eric are young enough to still be living with your parents and they are mentioned once in the game, you never actually see them.
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: New Orleans in the second game.
  • Jerkass:
    • Eric in the original Underground. Supposedly your character's closest friend and skating buddy who steals their chance at glory when the opportunity arises and remains a persistent thorn in your character's side for the rest of the game.
    • Paulie from Underground 2 isn't too likable either, being the most ill-tempered member of the tour and taking every opportunity to act like a jerk to anyone nearby.
  • Joke Character: Averting Acrofatic, Ben Franklin in Underground 2 has horribly low stats well below what the player character has by that point.
  • Karma Houdini: Eric in the first game, who after several attempts to get the player kicked off the team, finally succeeds in the Russian level when he runs off after drunkenly driving a tank and leaving the player locked in it to take the blame. He continues on gaining fame and money while the player has to work his way back home after being abandoned by the skate team. Granted, the player recovers from this and goes on to make a successful series of skating videos and even punches out Eric on the second playthrough instead of taking the final challenge. But he never really does pay for the tank incident by the end.
    • Karma Houdini Warranty: Fortunately, the second game fixes this by including him on the losing side of the tour (even when he's temporarily swapped with the player to Team Hawk) and constantly getting humiliated until he's eventually shipped off when it was time to out one of the skaters. Judging by his treatment from both fellow skaters and fans, his pro skating career is now a complete joke.
  • Last Lousy Point:
    • On Sick mode in the first game, the fourth Grind stat point is to hold a single grind for 25 seconds straight. This is frankly hopeless before you get to 9/10 Grind, and even then is an incredibly tall order after the fact.
    • While the same point is trivialized in the second game thanks to the introduction of Focus, its place gets taken by the fifth Flip point, which calls for 50 flip tricks in a single combo. Spamming flips, reverts, and run outs in a half-pipe won't cut it here, as you'll run out of air and time on those. The only hope you have is to make up the difference by getting the last few tricks by doing a manual, jumping and doing one flip, then falling right back into a manual and repeating until it's done, for which going into Focus is basically mandatory.
  • List of Transgressions: In the sequel, the bill for all the damages caused by the World Destruction Tour. note 
  • Luck-Based Mission: The Sick version of the Jersey Spine Trickspot Challenge in the first game. It starts out seemingly innocent, but the game will spew several tricks for you to do a second toward the end. Pile up too many tricks, and mission failed. Your only hope of pulling it off is to just manage to flush enough of them that they stop before you lose, which is easier said than done.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Each of 2's secret story skaters rides a non-skateboard vehicle exclusive to the level - i.e Jessie James on a motor scooter in Boston, Steve-O on a mechanical bull in Barcelona and so on - and have unique movesets that allow them to accomplish tasks the others ordinarily can't, can move faster and jump much higher than the skater can without outside help and some can't bail, but none of them can move on foot, they have far less move variety than the skaters and their vehicles can't be used outside of story mode.
  • Mood Whiplash: The second game's diverse soundtrack can result in this. It's possible for Frank Sinatra or Johnny Cash to be followed by something like Lamb of God's "Black Label".
  • Multiple Endings: The first game has two different endings depending on whether it's the first or second playthrough. This affects how the protagonist reacts to Eric's challenge.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The first game has two signs in the Tampa level, one for the Tampa AM and another advertising Spring Break, that have 2004 attached to it, the year after the game was released.
  • No Antagonist: The second game's story doesn't have a direct antagonist, mostly being a Friendly Rivalry between Tony and Bam's teams. A snooty movie producer by the name of Nigel Beaverhausen shows up several times around the later half of the tour to harass the teams into letting him use their footage for a movie, and Ex-Big Bad Eric Sparrow works on Bam's team but fails to accomplish anything in the long run and gets eliminated midway through the story; both ultimately serve as little more than Butt Monkeys.
  • No Final Boss for You: At the end of the first game, Eric Sparrow turns up and taunts the player character with the tape from earlier in the game, which only Eric and the main character were witness to, before challenging the player to follow Eric's run across the entirety of the New Jersey level, whilst Eric is throwing things at you. Play through the game a second time, and as Eric pulls out the tape and starts taunting the main character, they just punch him out and take the tape. So it's not a bad thing unlike most examples of the trope.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: Averted, with one of the most developed plots that had so far ever been seen in a sports oriented game, about two friends slowly growing to hate each other as each follows a different path to stardom. Many later games in the series have taken to including a solid story.
  • Nostalgia Level:
    • Several courses from the first three games are unlockable (the first THUG had only three levels from the second game, while the Classic Mode of THUG2 includes levels mainly from the first and third games, with only Philadelphia from THPS2). In addition, the Training area where you start Story Mode is a hi-res version of the old Warehouse level, with an extra area added.
    • An interesting example of a Nostalgia Area exists in the original THUG: The Tampa stage is an average sized stage with a skate park towards the center. The skate park by itself was originally one of the exclusive levels to the Xbox version of THPS2, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2X.
  • Only in It for the Money:
    • Eric's reason for wanting to be a pro skater, and he will lie and cheat so that he can become rich and famous.
    • Played with in the second game. The losing team of the World Destruction Tour has to foot the bill for all damages caused by both teams during the contest; and Nigel Beaverhausen (Writer-Producer-Director) tries to persuade them to let him film and release the footage of the tour, before resorting to doing it without permission. Tony and Bam agree to let Beaverhausen release the footage after he offers to foot the bill, once they find out the bill is $21,117,551.84 so far (they are in New Orleans when they make this agreement, with one leg of the tour still left to go).
  • Palmtree Panic: Hawaii in the first game and Australia in the second game. The secret Triangle level from Underground 2 is a subversion.
  • Picked Last: In the sequel, before the World Destruction Tour starts, Tony and Bam Margera start picking their team members. Since the player is the least experienced of the pros they got (Bam even calls you a noob), the player is left as a last pick for Bam along with Paulie "Wheels of Fury" Ryan, a 10-year-old kid in a full-body cast riding a motor-powered wheelchair, who Bam picks over the player. Tony is forced to take the player in and prove Bam wrong for passing you up.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: The Southern Belle, the secret skater from Atlanta in the Remix version of Underground 2, wears a pink and blue ballgown.
  • Planet Heck: The KISS concert in Underground.
  • Produce Pelting: Barcelona in the second game has a street vendor selling tomatoes that you can throw at people. Throwing it at a bull triggers the Level Destruction animation.
  • Product Placement:
    • Both from skating brands and non-skating brands, up to and including small McDonald's restaurants in the Manhattan and New Orleans levels.
    • The most blatant example would be the use of Motorola phones to receive messages from other characters in Underground 2.
  • Put on a Bus: More than half of the pro cast from the first game got dropped from Underground 2; only seven, counting Tony himself, remained.
  • Rags to Riches: The player character and Eric both make it out of their rough neighborhood and follow their dream but the paths they take to get to and stay at the top quickly become very different.
  • Replay Value: Playing both games at different difficulties unlocks multiple characters. Underground 1 also changes the ending cutscene when you replay it a second time, regardless of difficulty.
  • The Resenter: Eric towards the player character. He hides it somewhat well prior to the Hawaii stage but it comes to a head when your character decides to go big and pull off the trick that will make them world famous. From that moment on it's all out in the open and Eric is thoroughly The Antagonist.
  • Retraux: One of the unlockable skaters in Underground 2 is Tony Hawk as he was depicted in Pro Skater 1, complete with pixelated textures.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Famous!: The World Destruction Tour that Tony and Bam came up with. Causing mass property damage and chaos worldwide for the hell of it. Eventually however they were caught and declared banned from all the places they've been through. Their response? "Hey, good call".
  • Seen It All: Stacey Peralta's condition for the sponsor-me video was some variety in tricks and no local spots in New Jersey. Also later he gave a list of stunts for the player's All-Star team to perform for their skate video to help it stand out from the rest.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The "Star Wars Kid" can be found in a hidden room in Underground 2.
    • The KISS concert in Underground.
    • The Boston level in Underground 2 features a bar called Jeers.
  • Signs of Disrepair: The neon sign for the Black Hole in Tampa (based on the 2001 Odyssey) has the "le" part and the star burned out, reading "The Black Ho" (seriously).
  • Skate Heaven Is a Place on Earth: Naturally. However, Underground 2 contains a subversion to this in one of it's hidden levels; the 'Pro Skater' level contains a section where you can skate in Hell itself. You can even enter a secret area within it that allows to dance with the devil himself!
  • Slapstick: In Underground 2, your player character will be stripped to their underwear and get pelted with live mousetraps in the Australia level, regardless of their sex.
  • The Smurfette Principle: If the player character is female, she will be the only prominent female character in Underground 2.
  • Smug Snake: Eric Sparrow.
  • Spexico: Averted with Barcelona in the second game.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: "Straight Outta Moscow" in the first game, which requires the player to sneak past guards to get to the goal.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The end of the second game, so very much. It can effectively be summed up as something like this...
    Bam: Wow, Skatopia... LET'S BLOW IT UP!
  • Supporting Protagonist: The player character in Underground 2.
  • Tantrum Throwing: The second game actually turns this into a game mechanic. If you bail in a certain way, you can start a new combo by filling up the "Tantrum Meter" by Button Mashing, which results in the player tossing or smashing their board before a new one is tossed or rolls to them from offscreen.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: In the first game's deleted Downhill Jam level, going out of bounds gives you a "Rewind, BITCH!" message.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Eric goes from being a great skater (if an asshole) in the first game to a total joke in the second.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In Underground, Bam was on the vulgar side and a bit... out there, but he was not a particularly bad guy (especially when compared to Eric). In Underground 2, however; while there is a vague hint of playfulness in his attitude, he's gotten considerably ruder and nuttier.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Every level in the first game has at least one driving mission. After it's completed, the player can drive the car whenever he wants.
  • Updated Re-release: Underground 2's PSP port, Underground 2: Remix, includes four new levels. These levels eventually were ported over to American Wasteland (although Atlanta is exclusive to the Collector's Edition of the game).
  • Villainous Breakdown: Eric has an epic one in the first game's ending. If the Player Character beats him in the neighborhood skate-off, he goes on a rant, while the player just walks away with the tape. Play the game a second time, though...
    Eric: I'm still better than you! You got lucky, you little punk! Slam City Jam and Tampa were nothing but luck, you little bitch! Get back here! You ain't nothing! I know I could kick your ass!
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Phil in Underground 2, who spends the whole game in just his underwear.
  • We Used to Be Friends: By the end of the first game; after all the shit that Eric pulled you through, your character has had it with him and left with the tape after beating his line (or elbowed him in the mouth in the alternate ending).
  • Where It All Began: After recording your epic video in the penultimate chapter of the first game, the final chapter sees you returning to New Jersey to face off against Eric one last time.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Bam Margera’s increased prominence in THUG 2, to the the point of appearing on the box art alongside Tony Hawk, was largely down to Bam’s fame outside of the franchise thanks to his MTV projects - the “World Destruction Tour” even feels like it was inspired by Viva La Bam.
  • Your Mom: Used as an insult by the player to Security Stew when he refuses to let him and Eric into the train station, which results in him chasing the player.
    Player: What's your problem, Bacon Bits? Wake up on the wrong side of your mother this morning?
    Security Stew: Why you little...!
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The Level Destruction for New Orleans turns all of the NPCs into zombies. They explode into gibs when you hit them while playing as the Witch Doctor, but otherwise behave like ordinary NPCs. The ending reveals that they were just really intoxicated revelers who haven't seen the outside of a bar in months.

You own the underground.

Alternative Title(s): Tony Hawks Underground 2