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Video Game / Undercover Cops

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Undercover Cops is an arcade Beat 'em Up by Irem later ported on the Super Famicom, designed by most of the staff that would later make the Metal Slug series.

In 2043, a city is assaulted by the Mad Scientist Dr. Crayborn and his large gang of thugs. To counter this, the mayor hires a group of three professional "city sweepers" to clean the streets. They are:

  • Zan Takahara: "Lightning Slasher." A former karate champion stripped of his black belt after accidentally killing a man in self-defence.
  • Matt Gables: "Fire Ball Crusher." A football player falsely accused of murder and banned from the sport because the officials thought he was too violent.
  • Rosa Felmond: "The Blue Gale Revenge." A vigilante on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge after her lover was killed by thugs.

Featuring the same detailed sprite art and subtle humorous touches later seen in Metal Slug, along with a large number of moves rivalling the likes of Violent Storm, this game is frequently seen as a classic by hardcore fans of the beat'em up genre. However, while it did find a cult success in Japan, it was impaired elsewhere by a severely gimped World release and no exports of the home version until Retro-Bit released an English version of it in late 2021.

Later received a sequel on the Game Boy called Undercover Cops Gaiden, which is a turn-based board game instead of a Beat 'em Up, and a Super-Deformed manga adaptation by the infamous guro artist Waita Uziga.


  • Action Girl: Rosa is fully capable of engaging in fisticuffs.
  • After the End: Nothing in the backstory actually indicates this, but several backgrounds are very much post-apocalyptic in design, and the game takes place in the same universe as In the Hunt and Air Duel.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Rosa has a powerful muscular physique, and her top provides two tickets to the gun show.
  • Ass Kicks You: Rosa's dash includes a hip check.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: The Assessment Day screen's illustrations tend to be a lot less graphic for female characters. Nowhere is this more true than the clones of each of the playable characters - Zan Black is so badly battered he has an eyeball dangling out of its socket and Matt Black looks like he's vomiting up his innards, while Rosa Black simply has a tissue plugging up a bloody nose with her head turned in such a way that she barely looks injured at all.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Moguralians are mutants who live underground and attack by digging up from underneath their victims. "Mogura" is Japanese for "Mole"—as in the animal.
  • Cute Bruiser: Rosa, who despite having a pink heart motif and some adorable poses, is still built like a brick house.
  • Degraded Boss: Generic, already-damaged clones of Parcs appear in the final level. And just as Parcs tried to drop you into a trash compactor, the T-900s try to drop you out of the skyship's open doors.
  • Do Not Drop Your Weapon: Minor enemies in the game wield broken bottles, knives, short handled battle axes, torches, and baseball bats. Upon killing them, they do not drop their weapons.
  • Downer Ending: If you don't stop Dr. Crayborn from dropping a nuke on the city (which is REALLY easy to do) at a certain point of the final level, you get a Bad End with a side of Non-Standard Game Over.
  • Dub Name Change: From the Japanese version to the English version.
    • Rosa to Flame
    • Zan to Claude
    • Matt to Bubba
    • Parcs to Cue Ball
    • Fransowors to Fatso
    • Moguralian β to Gunpuncher
    • Balbarotch to Cone Head
    • Rosa Black to Crime
    • Zan Black to Cloude
    • Matt Black to Dudda
    • Dr. Crayborn and most of the other mooks keep their names.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: Happens in the middle of the second stage.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The ending credits shows Dr. Crayborn's handcuffs on the ground, along with an ominous laugh, indicating that he escaped.
  • Evil Knockoff: You have to fight a clone of each playable character in the final stage, right before the final boss.
  • Extremity Extremist: Almost all of Zan's attacks rely on kicks.
  • Fartillery: Moguralian β attempts to do this.
  • Flunky Boss: Fransowors's first phase will have her often use her jackhammer to bring a Fox down (occasionally, she'll instead get a motorcycle to drop down on you). If you have enough time on the clock, you can keep fighting Fox after Fox for extra money before going after Fransowors herself.
  • Fragile Speedster: Rosa. She has the lowest HP compared to the other two male characters, weaker hits unless she's grabbing, but makes up for it with her speed.
  • Gaiden Game: Undercover Cops Gaiden, a board game-style spinoff.
  • Gonk: Balbarotch, if the arcade flyer is anything to go by (he's to the left of the title; you can tell that's him by his helmet).
  • Glass Cannon: The mole men can do heavy damage but they all die in one hit (except in the US/World Versions).
  • Gratuitous English: Not the game itself, but the soundtrack: Most of the names used in the OST doesn't have any kind of sense and we have some gems like Sarah Sowertty, Chaca Chaca Move Ya and Indifferent Zero Other.
  • Jack of All Stats: Zan.
  • Improvised Weapon: Being a beat'em up, this is expected. However, while most games in the genre feature small weapons such as knives or bottles, this game take it to the next level, letting you pick up the wrecks of a Hummer, swing concrete pylons or throw fishes at the enemies.
  • In-Universe Nickname: Each of the three protagonist has a nickname given by their profiles.
  • Ki Manipulation: Each cop has one for their super desperation attack: Zan shoots bright energy explosives (Zan Bombs), Rosa summons a giant blue energy wave (Arch Saber), and Matt charges his hands and launches himself up and down the air across the screen like a rocket (Atom Bomber). These moves are very powerful and cost a huge chunk your health, so use wisely.
  • Man on Fire: Balbarotch when he's defeated. The last hit causes all the weapons he's keeping in his cloak to spontaneously burst into flames, causing him to run around shrieking in pain while the fire keeps getting stronger...until the weapons finally explode, leaving nothing of Balbarotch—except his bones and helmet. In the Super Famicom version you can knock off the head and eat it for health and bonus points. Be sure to eat it 1 second before the screen fades to black because it kills you if you eat it too early.
  • Mighty Glacier: Subverted with Matt. While he is the slowest, he is the only one that can actually run across the screen, compared to Zan and Rosa who can only dash a short distance forward.
  • Multiple Endings: The ending varies between the characters being used and the number of people playing.
  • Never Trust a Title: There's nothing "undercover" about these cops.
  • Ocular Gushers: Fransowors once she has less than a full lifebar remaining.
  • One-Winged Angel: For the final battle, Dr. Crayborn locks himself into one of his experimental machines and mutates into a huge monster. At first, the pathetic amount of health he has suggests Clipped-Wing Angel...until he puts himself back in there after you take out that sliver of life. Cue the version with two full lifebars...
  • Personality Blood Types: The Attract Mode in the English translation list blood types in the Character profiles (the Japanese version doesn't, oddly enough).
  • Rummage Sale Reject: Justified. The game does take place After the End.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Parcs.
  • Sequential Boss: Parcs. First, you fight it in its human form along with a few mooks. After half of its lifebar is removed, it gets damaged, losing its exoskeleton and Rocket Punch right arm, and you fight it as it attempts to throw you in a trash compactor.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The clones of Parcs that shows up in the final level are called T-900s.
    • Some of the collectable items are TVs with a picture of the first boss of R-Type on them.
    • The police van in the credits looks and acts just like the buggy of Moon Patrol.
  • Stripperiffic: Fox, oh so much. She wears nothing but a tank top (no bra), a thong, and boots.
  • Telephone Polearm: You can wield huge girders and concrete posts this way.
  • Token Trio: Zan (Japanese), Rosa (token woman), and Matt (white guy)
  • The 'Verse: The appearance of Crayborn's huge D.A.S helicopter in the final level, and the pre-level screen listing the target as "D.A.S", suggests this takes place in the same universe as In the Hunt, Air Duel, and GunForce II. The Bydo Database in R-Type Final also lists Matt Gables as one of the best pilots for a Humongous Mecha.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: As mentioned above in Do Not Drop Your Weapon and Improvised Weapon, the playable characters cannot wield knives, bottles, bats, or axes. This is kinda justified considering they can all shoot energy and wield weapons 2 or 3 times their size.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Zan has a grab where does the Izuna Drop (minus the spinning).