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Video Game / Violent Storm

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Who'll be the hero?

Violent Storm is an arcade Beat 'em Up made by Konami released in 1993, and their final foray into the genre along with Metamorphic Force.

In an unspecified future, the world is recovering after World War III destroyed most of it. The main characters Boris, Wade, and Kyle are a group of vigilantes protecting the innocents from thugs, the most dangerous being the "Geld Gang". One day, their friend Sheena is kidnapped by a member of the Geld Gang and thus they go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge to save her. But really, who cares for the plot in a game like this?

Konami's farewell to the beat'em up genre, this arcade release features superb graphics with huge, fluidly animated sprites, an insane lyriced soundtrack and an impressive variety of moves. Though it may look like a blatant ripoff of Final Fight at first, that's really the point as it celebrates the classics of the beat-em-up genre as much as it makes fun of them, makes many improvements on the formula anyway, and overall is just a very finely crafted example of its genre and all it entails.

See also Crime Fighters and Vendetta (1991), Konami's previous beat-em-ups with similar themes. Some consider Violent Storm as the final installment of a trilogy that includes these games (incidentally, there was a two year release gap between all three), although it was never advertised as such.

This game has examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: Sledge is extremely vulnerable to being thrown, which gets around his blocks.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of both beat'em ups and post-apocalyptic anime like Fist of the North Star. This is most noticeable in the bosses, who do not fit the theme at all - there's an orange-skinned hunchback who wields a giant ticket punch, a guy wearing what seems to be the Aliens Power Loader, a Living Statue...
  • After the End: As already mentioned above, the game's backstory states that the world is recovering after World War III, which had left said world in its post-apocalyptic condition.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Red Freddy (who’s actually green), Joe (orange), and Geld (violet).
  • The Apunkalypse: Though a very light version. Although all the elements are there - leather vests, spiky armor, several punks - the world seems perfectly fine despite that. There's even fully functional trains and an untouched peaceful park with fountains and gates. It's almost like the apocalypse happened and no one, after changing clothes and getting ripped, really cared. Essentially the only sign that something happened is that the buildings are covered in cracks and chips.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Ryuken has both the martial arts gi and the Suicidal Overconfidence of being a mook.
  • Ass Kicks You: One of Boris's aerial moves involves him striking enemies with his rear end.
  • Bald of Evil: Dabel and his clones. Instead of hair, they have spikes growing out of their heads.
  • Balance, Speed, Strength Trio: Kyle trades strength for speed. Boris trades speed for strength. Wade lacks Kyle's weakness and Boris's slowness, yet also lacks Kyle's speed and Boris's strength.
  • Bar Brawl: Downtown involves a bar where you can throw chairs and flowerpots at foes.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow:
    • Dabel introduces himself by smashing open a wall.
    • The protagonists start chasing Red Freddy by busting a metal door with their car.
  • Belly Dancer: One performs in the middle of Stage 3 who cheers for you once you defeat all the enemies in that section.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Wade, Kyle, and Boris, in that order.
  • Boss Banter: All of the bosses have introductory dialogue before the fight starts, though sometimes you can hit them before they're done talking.
    Red Freddy: Crazy punks! Get them out!
    Joe: May I see your ticket?
  • Breath Weapon: Lollypop can breathe fire.
  • Brick Joke: Stage 1 begins with our heroes driving their car through a gate, damaging the front end in the process. The ending reveals that they never got around to fixing it.
  • Camp: If JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is the glam rock version of Fist of the North Star, this is the punk rock version.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Dabel, the first boss, is armed with a large mace. So are his clones.
  • Chain Pain: Gigadeath's weapon of choice is a chain.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: There a couple of chairs that can be picked and thrown during the second half of Stage 3.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: Inverted compared to most brawlers that followed the Final Fight template. Kyle wears green and is the weakest but fastest. Boris wears red and is the strongest but also the slowest, although not as slow compared to other mighty glaciers in brawlers. Wade wears blue and is average between the other two player characters.
  • Combat Stilettos: Eliza and Liza, the knive-wielding maniacs, wear these.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Geld uses magic against the protagonists, who have only martial arts on their side.
  • Cool Car: Your Cadillac the heroes drive in.
  • Creator Cameo: One of the developers is the referee you land on before the Drigger fight. He appears again as a sailor striking a Captain Morgan Pose. You can knock him off the pier.
  • Damsel in Distress: Sheena. There’s also a cageful of more in the final stage, whom you can save by smashing the door.
  • Degraded Boss: Dabel, the first boss, shows up later on as a normal enemy named Bull.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: Lots of stuff gets broken up in this game. Including actual chairs, which can be thrown at foes.
  • Difficulty by Region: A small example; the Japanese version allows extra lives when you reach a certain number of points while the other versions have extends turned off by default (but that can be changed in the service mode). Otherwise, they're identical.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Red Freddy is the one who kidnaps Sheena and instigates all the traps to stop the protagonists. In the final stage, it's revealed he is merely The Dragon to Geld.
  • Disney Villain Death: Geld falls from a cliff after being beaten.
  • The Dragon: Red Freddy to Lord Geld. He is the penultimate boss and much more active than his master at trying to stop the heroes. However, it's clear he is not equal to Geld.
  • Dub Name Change: Sledge to Cupper Maki in the Violent Round. The latter was one of the developers' pen name.
  • Duel Boss: All bosses except Joe fight the players alone. Special mention to Drigger, who is fought in a cage match, and the final bosses, who are in the same room but fight you separately.
  • Eternal Engine: The fourth stage is set in an industrial complex, and mostly takes place inside a huge factory.
  • Evil Laugh: Red Freddy, Joe, the Spike enemies, Doyle and Geld. In most cases, they laugh when they kill you. In Red Freddy's, it replaces a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner.
  • Evil Redhead: Crossbones and Liza, and the red variations of most other enemies. All determined to kill you.
  • Expy:
  • Fat Bastard: Lollypop, Dabel and Drigger are all fat and work for Lord Geld.
  • Fan Disservice: Lollypop. He is so fat that it looks like he has six separate stomachs, and he also happens to fight shirtless.
  • Femme Fatalons: Inverted with Red Freddy. He does have talons, but is a man and preys on women.
  • Fight Clubbing: The heroes take on Drigger in a cage match.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: Mr. Julius is so obsessed with his masculine beauty that he's constantly flexing. He even introduces himself with, "Beauty is justice!"
  • Flunky Boss: During the fight with Joe, he occasionally loses his ticket punch. At that point he jumps back on the engine and rings a bell, summoning lesser enemies to attack you while he retrieves another weapon.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The final stage, a museum, features a portrait gallery with paintings of all the bosses the player fought so far, and on the end two more paintings of Red Freddy and Geld. It effectively spoils who the last two bosses will be, as well as the fact that Red Freddy won't be the final boss after all, even though he is the character who kicked off the plot and has been chased by the player up to this point. Also, the stage has statues which belong to the Big Bad... Geld, not Red Freddy.
    • A more subtle one is in the theme for the third stage. "Everyone wants to knock that Geldo down!"
  • The Heavy: Geld is the Big Bad, but Red Freddy kicks off the plot by kidnapping Sheena and is the most active threat you face.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Liza, Gigadeath, and Wade all wear leather clothing and are quite capable of beating the tar out of others.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • After getting defeated, Doyle's mechanical frame malfunctions, causing it to give off minor explosions before rocketing him into the molten steel below.
    • Also if Crossbones goes nuts with his pipe and misses, he exhausts himself and is vulnerable for several seconds.
  • Hurricane Kick: Wade does one for his desperation attack. Kyle, meanwhile, does a spinning bird kick.
  • I Want My Mommy!: Upon being defeated, Boss Geld will cry out "Mamma!" and fall off the building, screaming.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Sledge uses a cooking wok as both a weapon and a shield. Before him, Joe carries a giant, electrified ticket punch. And the protagonists can use footballs in the second stage.
  • Improvised Weapon: One of the oddest examples being the pigs which inexplicably turn into footballs when picked up.note 
  • Ironic Name: Red Freddy's skin is green. note 
  • Jealous Romantic Witness: Played for Laughs after the Final Boss, where Sheena gives a kiss to whoever scored the final blow on Geld. If there are additional players, the unlucky guys look on in shock and dismay.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Mooks can be attacked when they're lying on the ground. So can bosses, but they can also do the same to you.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: Excluding bosses, enemy attacks will often drain the heroes' health bars completely red; one more it, and bye-bye good guys!
  • Lightning Bruiser: Sledge is both the fastest and strongest non-final boss. He's actually faster than Kyle.
  • Living Statue: Julius is a statue brought to life by Red Freddy. When you defeat him, he turns back into stone and shatters.
  • Macho Camp: Julius.
    "Beauty is justice!"
  • Meteor Move: Boris has a piledriver as one of his attacks. No spinning, unfortunately.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Generally averted, but Wade and Kyle subvert this trope. If they try to throw heavier enemies, they'll struggle a bit unless you either mash buttons for it to be successful or knee them a couple of times for an easier throw. Without proper button mashing, they will collapse under the enemy weight, losing some health. Boris has never such trouble.
  • Mutant: One of the few signs of anything post-apocalyptic about this game is that several of the villains are clearly inhuman. Red Freddy has green skin and long talons, Lord Geld has purple skin and can change from a young-looking human into a hulking muscle-man, and Stage 2's boss Joe has orange skin and a hunchback.
  • New Game Plus: Completing the game on one credit unlocks the "Violent Round" mode, which is the game all over again with much more cruel enemy placement, different background colors, blood splatters (if they're not turned on in the dip-switches) and other weird changes to the level design. For example, the first half of the third level has fewer enemies but only gives you thirty seconds to beat it.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The steel mill you fight Doyle in has no safety features around the mechanical presses or pouring molten steel. It's amazing they even have guardrails.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Lord Geld, who doesn't appear until the very end of the game, when you confront him at this throne. In fact, the one who kidnaps Sheena and instigates the traps against you is Red Freddy, not him.
  • Pipe Pain: The Crossbones enemies carry these and you can also find them in various locations to use on enemies.
  • Powered Armor: Doyle wears a mechanical frame with a pneumatic grabbing arm and built-in jetpack.
    "The machine sounds great!"
  • Power Makes Your Voice Deep: Lord Geld's voice noticeably drops a few octaves once he hulks out for the last battle.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Most bosses start with one of these.
    Sledge: "Eat you for breakfast!"
  • The Quincy Punk: Crossbones and Doyle resemble such punks.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Kyle can do the kick variation.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The music used during the Drigger and Julius fights is remixed from the TMNT arcade games. The common boss theme is original but one part of it is a reference to the boss music of the X-Men arcade game. The fourth stage music is like a combination of the night vision music from Lethal Enforcers and the fourth stage music from Super Contra.
  • Riding into the Sunset: After you defeat Geld, the heroes and Sheena drive off along the beach with the sunset behind them.
  • Rogues Gallery: Literally. One section of the last level is an art gallery with portraits of all the bosses you've defeated up to that point, all except for the last two (Red Freddy and Geld), which foreshadows who you will face next.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shear Menace: Joe, the second boss, is armed with a huge, electrified train ticket puncher.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Drigger, the third boss, is a wrestler wearing a cow skull on his head.
  • So Long, Suckers!: When Joe, the boss of the second level, gets defeated, Red Freddy, who has a Bound and Gagged Sheena in his custody taunts the heroes with the trope name as he leaves them behind on the train car he disconnected from the main engine.
  • Song Style Shift: During the second half of Stage 3, a Belly Dancer appears on-stage in the background, accompanied by Arabic music. About 28 seconds in, it shifts into a fusion of rock and new jack swing.
  • Squashed Flat: The Industrial Area's presses will do this to enemy mooks. It will also kill them, but not you, in a single hit, so it's not a great idea to break them.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Zig-zagged. Every boss says something to you at the start of the fight. For the most part, they're not in range of your attacks while saying it... but some (like Drigger) are, and you can land free hits on them while they're talking.
  • Train Escape: Type 3. At the end of the second stage, after the player has defeated Joe, Red Freddy unhooks the train carriage that the player is on in order to escape while having a Bound and Gagged Sheena in his custody. He succeeds.
    Red Freddy: So long, suckers!
  • Video Game Caring Potential: In the last level there's a cell full of scantily-clad women presumably kidnapped as concubines. If you think to smash the door open, one of them throws you a bonus item out of gratitude.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Vandalizing a stand in Stage 3 and furniture inside a bar of the same stage will reward you with points. You can also throw civilians and bad guys out of a train or into the sea, and in the latter case you even get a fish to restore health. And of course, nothing's stopping you from ignoring the other women and leaving them behind in the final stage.
  • Visual Pun: Footballs are often called "pigskins". Thus, whenever you pick up one of the piglets inside the train in Stage 2, it will turn into a football that can be thrown at enemies as a weapon.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Geld has this when he changes his size. Justified, when he gets bigger and more muscular, it makes sense for his voice to also become much deeper.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Lollypop and Lollypop Jr. Considering their appearance, this is not so attractive.
  • Wall Jump: Wade, Boris, and Kyle can all do this.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Boris is filled with more wrestling moves than Mike Haggar and Max Thunder combined.
  • You Get Knocked Down, You Get Back Up Again: Averted, you can attack knocked-down enemies, something that is rare for the genre but not for Konami-made games. Some bosses can also do this to you.

Until I rescue Sheena,
You think you can beat us,