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Video Game / Total Carnage

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"You suck at this game!"

The year is 1999, and the evil General Akhboob closes off his country of "Kookistan" to the rest of the world and captures all of the reporters that went to the scene looking for a story. Also, the general is using his base to create mutants, stockpiling weapons and doing other various nasty things, and it's up to the Doomsday Squad (Captain Carnage and Major Mayhem) to go in, destroy the base and capture General Akhboob.


This video game provides examples of:

  • America Saves the Day: Hammered home by the presence of American flags that both heroes can collect.
    • One "hint" in the game tells you to "defend our flag".
  • An Axe to Grind: Some toxic spills create mooks with large axes. Naturally, the slightest poke by them kills you.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: General Akhboob's insults during the intermissions.
  • Auto-Scrolling Game: For the most part, anyway.
  • Beating A Dead Player: Naturally, they'll do this to you. Deconstructed in some cases that when your character blows up, he takes out some of the mooks beating his carcass.
  • Big Bad: General Akhboob — who turns out to be Adolf Hitler.
  • Blatant Lies: Akhboob in the beginning. "ALL WE ARE MAKING IS BABY MILK!" Naturally, the "baby milk factory" is a bio-weapons lab.
    • He also says "I am a peace loving citizen!" while you fight him- as in while he’s trying to kill you.
  • Bloodier and Gorier
  • Bowdlerization: The SNES port is noticeably censored in comparison to the original arcade version; neither hero has a hole in his chest after stepping on mines, and the blood goes from red to blue. Additionally, General Akhboob is thrown in jail instead of being executed, and one of the forms in his fight is removed.
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  • Brutal Bonus Level: Most warp spirals will send you to bonus screens where you can boost your score, but all of them are loaded with hazards that can still result in death.
  • Bullet Hell: Some sections require the player to dodge massive amounts of goo being shot out of Exploding Barrels.
  • Call-Back: To Smash TV, since Akhboob will occasionally shout, "I'll buy you for a dollar!"
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: Captain Carnage is a white soldier; Major Mayhem is a black soldier. Both NARC and Smash TV previously had player 1 having light skin and player 2 having dark skin.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: On the electric chair challenge, your supermuscleman can potentially survive 60,000-volt blasts through his cranium. But in-game, he's a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Both Orcus' and Akhboob's machine forms can take copious amounts of damage before going down. Expect to spend a long time fighting them. At least Akhboob is kind enough to use a health bar. The bad news is he has a lot of phases to his fight.
  • Deadline News: News reporter "Candy Blitzer" is captured by a mutant on live TV just before she exposes Akhboob's real identity.
  • Dogpile Of Doom: With copious amounts of enemies swarming throughout, it's inevitable this will happen unless you've mastered the game. Since you're already dead after the first poke, it seems like laughable overkill.
  • Dummied Out / What Could Have Been: Over 20 years after the game was released, it was discovered that there were supposed to be two endings; failing to collect all items in the Pleasure Domes (which in any case can only be done by two players) was supposed to give the "bad" ending where the heroes sit alone (without the ladies) in the Pleasure Domes, whilst collecting everything was to display the "good" ending with the ladies present, but of course without the taunting text. For some reason (probably because getting all the goodies is nearly impossible even with two players), finishing the game always combines the "good" picture with the "bad" text.
  • Electric Torture
  • Elite Mooks: Mr. Butane takes many hits to kill.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: As well as every other ground vehicle in General Akhboob's fleet.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You
  • Exploding Barrels: They don't explode when the player shoots them, but they usually explode on their own, and en masse, showering the screen with purple goo that the player has to dodge.
  • Expy: Captain Carnage and Major Mayhem are pretty much the more muscled (but equally wimpy) versions of the two unnamed Smash TV contestants.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon:
    • The heroes have flamethrowers as available weapons.
    • The mook known as Mr. Butane carries one.
    • Orcus blows fire out of his nose.
  • Firing in the Air a Lot: After each level, your character does this in a nondescript desert with a hardy YEAHHHHHHH! followed by a goofy grin.
  • Force Field: Temporarily provided whenever one of the heroes places a bomb.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Mr. Butane punches you if you get too close. Ditto the mooks with flaming fists.
  • Gorn
  • Gratuitous German: The final boss will occasionally yell words like "Blitzkriegen", "Schnell!", and "Braunschweiger!"note 
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: If you capture Akhboob at the end, you can return the electric chair favor in kind.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: A headband.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Another of General Akhboob's specialties.
    "You suck at this game!"
  • Kaizo Trap: After you beat Orcus, don't stand around. Orcus' body will bounce around before Akhboob's limo drives across the screen — both of which are capable of turning your supermuscleman into meat sauce.
  • Losing Horns: Played when a screen-clearing bomb turns out to be a dud.
  • Ludicrous Gibs
  • Macho Masochism: One segment has mooks set themselves on fire on an electrified fence and chase you around swinging flaming fists.
  • Made of Iron: Mooks and Bosses, but also...
  • Made of Plasticine: You the PC, and all of the humanoid mooks.
  • Man on Fire: Setting fire to certain objects (e.g., vehicles) will turn nearby Mooks into burning men, who charge at you with flaming fists. You're not so lucky — if your super wussy plasticine muscleman touches anything even remotely flaming (like the burning men), you are instant cinders.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Clubbed to death; blown up; electrocuted; thrown in the air with a hole in the chest; instant cinders.
  • Medium Awareness:
    • General Akhboob's "You suck at this game!"
    • In a two-player game, at the end of each stage, the player with the lesser score will think to himself about being the inferior of the two soldiers. One such thought bubble reads, "Player 1 is a dork."
    • "All Smash TV players should quit now and flee from this machine."
  • More Dakka
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Boy, howdy! Your character's muscles put even the Hulk to shame. But one touch of anything and you are instant meatsauce.
  • Nintendo Hard
  • Nitro Boost: Sneakers increase the heroes' walking speed as they go "Whoop-whoop-whoop-whoop-whoop".
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Being a spoof of the Gulf War, General Ahkboob is a clear parody of Saddam Hussein.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The Player Characters and most mooks.
  • 1-Up: Dog tags in various segments. And you're definitely going to need as many as you can get!
  • Ow, My Body Part!: Orcus, the game's first boss, will scream something like this whenever one of his (its?) body parts is destroyed.
    Orcus: "My head! My head!"note 
  • Pistol-Whipping: What some of the grunts do if you get close. Their attacks seem clumsy, but don't laugh — one poke and your supermuscloid is meatsauce.
  • Press X to Not Die: A "challenge" that randomly pops up involves Captain Carnage and Major Mayhem being strapped to electric chairs. Each player has to mash their start button as much as possible to prevent them both from seeing the continue screen. This is inverted in the best ending, where General Akhboob is captured and subject to the same punishment, care of the players.
  • Putting on the Reich: Fighting Akhboob's giant mutant head eventually results in him donning a Hitler stache and yelling "Schnell!" when shot.
  • Ramming Always Works — but only while the hero is invincible.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The music that plays within the Pleasure Domes is the "Ten Seconds!" (e.g. "continue?") music from Smash TV.
  • Schrodinger's Villain: If any of the Akhboob clones escape, the real Akhboob escapes. Thus, the only way to capture him is to catch all the clones.
    • And even then you still have to have unlocked the Pleasure Domes, or else the scrolling epilogue text will claim he escaped anyway.
  • Shared Life Meter: One part of the Final Boss fight (with the two giant mutant faces) uses the second variety.
  • Shout-Out: Orcus recycles several of his attacks and part of his cybernetic visual style from the final boss of Narc, most famously the stream of severed tongues (the staff of Narc had been bought out by Midway at around the time Narc was hitting the market, so it's probably not a coincidence).
  • Smart Bomb
  • Soldier's Headband
  • Sore Loser: In a 2-player game, the player who scored lower sulks behind the winning player as he shoots his gun in the air and cheers, folding his arms and making a disparaging comment about him to himself.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Smash TV.
  • Spread Shot
  • Stock Audio Clip: The "Bingo!", "I love it", and "Total Carnage!" sounds come directly from Smash TV. As well as Mutoid Man's "NO WAY!" if you pick up a fake smart bomb.
    • Orcus' grunts and groans are the same ones used by Mutoid Man.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Natch.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Akhboob's true identity.
  • Take That, Audience!: Fail to collect enough keys to unlock access the Pleasure Domes? "You suck."
  • Taking You with Me: During certain death animations, the player character will drop a primed bomb at his dying feet.
  • Title Drop: Occurs whenever a Smart Bomb actually works. Also before the first challenge, you get this caption:
  • Title Scream: Taken directly from a sound bite from Smash TV.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: You are, as well as many of the enemies.
  • Torso with a View: Stepping on a mine, getting run over, or getting squashed inexplicably bores a hole through their chests. Their bodies are flung skyward, allowing the players to see their bloody cavities.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene
  • Warp Zone: The first spirals can take the heroes further into the game, provided they have a valid four-letter password.
  • What the Hell, Player?: If the players let Akhboob escape, the game will not hesitate to tell them how much they suck.
  • World of Muscle Men: The players (natch) and even many of the enemies look quite top-heavy. About the only characters that don't look muscular are the prisoners of war.


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