Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / WWF No Mercy

Go To
Dig-dig-diggity, dig-diggity-dog...

WWF No Mercy is a Professional Wrestling video game for the Nintendo 64 that was released on November 17, 2000 in North America, with a European release the following month; it was the last licensed wrestling game made by established developer AKI Corporation (now Syn Sophia), who had previously made the Virtual Pro Wrestling and WCW vs. nWo series along with WrestleMania 2000 — and would go on to make the Ultimate Muscle/Kinnikuman games, the Def Jam Series, and two SimCity games for the Nintendo DS. It was also (along with WCW Backstage Assault) the last wrestling game for the 5th Generation of console gaming, which happened to coincide with the end of wrestling's Monday Night Wars era (and the WWF's Attitude Era).

No Mercy was set at the pinnacle of the Attitude Era, and years later is something of a time capsule to that period in wrestling history. It was the first game in the series to include a fleshed-out career mode, replacing the "win a gauntlet of matches against the computer" Excuse Plot found in previous entries. Players could select any title division and follow storylines that actually happened in real life, with the storylines branching and diverging based on wins and losses, and player decisions. It also featured a gigantic roster bolstered by many hidden characters, though completely excluding Big Show note . It also had the largest selection to date of possible match types; this combined with a relatively shallow learning curve contributed to the game's cherished multiplayer feature. On the downside, No Mercy suffered from a major bug - the first few production runs of the game shipped with a defect built into the game's code that wiped all the save data after a set amount of time; as a result, the bug's in nearly every known ROM of the game note .

The easily-hackable nature of N64 ROMs has given it a still-active modding community, with more than a few e-feds still using the game to sim matches featuring either modern day wrestlers or CAWs.

THQ published spiritual sequels to No Mercy for the Gamecube in WrestleMania X8, WrestleMania XIX and the two Day of Reckoning games. AKI's Def Jam Series — especially Fight For New York — are also considered spiritual sequels, since the engine used for those games was remarkably similar to the No Mercy engine.

Tropes used:

  • Action Girl: Every playable female. To a lesser or greater extent depending on how good at wrestling they were in real life, the women went through intense Xenafication (with the exception of Chyna, and only because she didn't need it). Unlike WrestleMania 2000, which gave female characters minimal stats and dumbed down movesets, No Mercy went the other direction and gave the women cool looking moves - e.g. Trish Stratus using the koppu kicknote , or The Kat using an MMA style achilles lock. Lita in particular was given a high flying stat of 4, which made her a decent character to play competitively. And the game allowed intergender competition, which meant that any of them could compete for and win the World Championship.
  • Announcer Chatter: Averted in that matches don't feature actual commentary, and the only voice heard is that of the referee. The voices of Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler can be heard in the intro.
  • A.I. Roulette: For computer-controlled CAWs. Actual wrestlers are in some cases programmed to behave like their real life counterpart. But CAWs will do any moves marked 'favorite' at random, and they are obsessed with doing corner finishers. Irritatingly, No Mercy is the first game in the series where you had to have a corner finisher. For whatever reason, CAWs also never taunt except for when they're activating their limit break.
  • A Winner Is You: Unlocking every path to the belt in Championship Mode is hard and takes a lot of time, especially the World Heavyweight Title. All it does is make the victory text crawl at the end a little different, and that doesn't even take effect upon finishing the last branch; you have to get 100% and then play one more time to see it.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The tail end of a Heavyweight Championship Defence has Vince promising to bring out his "walking weapon". "The Lethal Weapon" is Steve Blackman's Red Baron, and we're led to think that Vince has paid for the martial artist's services. Immediately after this though, Vince reveals that he has instead enlisted the services of a feared, long-dead and most importantly HUGE wrestler.
Vince: ANDRE!!
  • Balance Buff: Plenty:
    • With the expansion of the damage Rank System (G, F, E, D, C, B, A, and S), most finishers go up 1 rank (A-Ranked finishers in the S-Rank and B-Ranked finishers are in the A-Rank).
    • One of the front grapple suplexes are now ranked as a B from C. Still retains the TKO status.
    • One of the turnbuckle moves, Poetry in Motion, is an S-ranked moved and can be performed without the need of a super.
    • Running moves in general. You can now grab opponents while running, making opponents think twice on just holding the block button to protect themselves or spamming the block button to counter. If they try to block while you run-grab, the grab succeeds.
    • Weapons. Instead of weapons disappearing after losing it, the weapons get dropped and can be picked up again later or thrown out.
  • Boring, but Practical: The move where you're outside the ring, your opponent's inside, and you reach in and pull them out (or if they're facing away from you, trip them) isn't blockable or reversible, and even on extreme difficulty the computer's AI isn't very good at avoiding it. Exploiting this is helpful to overcome the computer ones it goes into Reverse Everything Mode.
    • The weak grapples on the A button are the most basic moves, but can't be reversed, so they're also useful (if you can manage to actually grapple the computer without them reversing in the first place, that is). On the other hand the weak A grapples raise the defender's spirit rather than lowering it like other offensive moves, so it's a bad idea to rely on them too heavily.
  • Bowdlerize: When the PAL version of the game was updated to remove the deletion glitch, it also removed visible blood.
  • Breath Weapon: Fireball and Poison Mist. Exaggerated with Misty Frankensteiner, which combines the latter with another move.
  • Character Customization: Unique in that you could even edit appearances of in-game Superstars like you would a created Superstar. This means you can turn an in-game superstar into a completely different wrestler - and then this in turn extends to the championship mode and the cinematic intro! Yes, efedders and CAW addicts, you can "paste" your CAWs over top the real superstars and play championship mode with an entirely created roster.
    • Just pray your character isn't a Masked Luchador because the there are NO lucha libre style masks of any description in the game. The only masks are Kane, Mankind, and a full-face "Phantom" mask.
    • It should also be noted that you can only edit the default roster's appearance, not their movesets. To edit movesets you need a Gameshark and an EXTENSIVE knowledge of N64 programming.
  • Comeback Mechanic: Wrestlers have a invisible health bar that when depleted a sufficient amount triggers a comeback mode. Said comeback mode includes: radically increased spirit gain, submission moves grant continuous spirit, and an increase reversal rate. Contrary to popular belief, this isn't limited to the AI; players also have access to this.
  • Cosmetic Award: Buying the Ho in the Smackdown Mall takes an obscene amount of money. The Ho is actually four different females not even modeled after actual women that accompanied The Godfather, and her stats are rock bottom, making her useless both as a storyline character or competitive character.
  • Fan Disservice: Since this game doesn't care about wrestler gender, you can play as a man in the Women's Championship story. There's a swimsuit competition in the story. He will put on the skimpiest bikini in the game and strut around in it. Also there's nothing stopping you from making a male create-a-wrestler (or a female one with a Mae Young granny build) and making a thong bikini their wrestling attire.
  • Fanservice: Many of the swimsuits from the bikini contest at Royal Rumble 2000 were included in the game as outfits. The swimsuit competition even appears in the game as part of the Women's Title storyline. The opening cinematic also has fanservicey shots of Terri Runnels and Debra.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The memory glitch could result in all of your saved progress going poof without warning.
    • Newer versions of the ROM eliminate the save glitch, only to replace it with another, arguably worse one in Championship mode, which causes wrestlers to lose their lock-on at random points during the match. Trying to use any grapples, submissions etc. during this time will cause the wrestlers to hang. Try getting through more than one match at a a time outside of Exhibition mode, we dare you.
  • Groin Attack: This being a wrestling game, they are plentiful, and are even punctuated with a bell's DING! when a Superstar is struck in the groin.
    • Groin attacks are also sold for a longer period of time than any other non-grapple move, and characters groin-stunned can't reverse attacks.
  • Guide Dang It!: No Mercy neglected to include instructions in the manual on how to control a guest referee, and the referee actions were performed through the otherwise unutilized right arrow button. Checking for a submission is unintuitive as well - the button has to be pressed once so the ref gets in position to watch, and then pressed again while the wrestler is in the process of tapping out.
    • The game features a limb-specific damage system and a fairly dynamic balance system (which were later used in the Smackdown! games) - but there's no indication given anywhere in the manual or the game that this is the case. The onscreen Attitude meter is pretty much just a spirit gauge and only gives a vague idea of the progress of the match - it's quite possible to have your character submit or be pinned seemingly out of nowhere, or to pin someone whose meter reads "DANGER!" and have them kick out on a 1-count.
  • Head Swap: Or more accurately, model swap. Each character had four different models that could be selected. In a few cases, such as Taka Michinoku/Funaki and Mae Young/The Fabulous Moolah, the latter was made into an alternate appearance of the former. And in the case of Taka/Funaki, the moveset the character was given was a combination of the movesets the two wrestlers used in real life.
  • Luck-Based Mission: 100-Man Survival mode. There are 2 things that can happen even at full health: The A.I. randomly doing an Irish Whip to you and attack you to go behind the ropes and the knock you out via elimination OR getting staggered by a weak/strong strike for you to stagger and get flipped out of the ring.
  • Multiple Endings: Considering the story keeps going whether you win or lose there are a lot of them. Also matches where you're not even personally involved in the case where you are the special guest referee.
  • Nerf: Mainly on Create-A-Wrestler's features:
    • Piledrivers. This game came out about the same time that WWF started banning piledrivers in real-life due to their propensity for causing injuries, and yet in this game, the basic piledriver is only an E-rank move and a couple others are D-rank. To be fair, piledrivers have been a weak move in this series going all the way back to the very first game, WCW/nWo World Tour.
    • B Grapple Moves. You can no longer give a B-leveled move to weak grapples. The game now separates weak grapple moves with the strong grapple moves. You need to take more effort to hold A for a strong grapple if you want to do the more powerful moves, hope your opponent doesn't counter the slower hold, and hope that the stronger moves don't get countered.
    • Certain grapple holds are no longer as powerful as they were before. The Chokeslam from Hell, previously from B-rank, is now C-rank (it still keeps the KO chance). The Death Valley Driver (Pimp Drop in WM2000) is no longer a finisher and is now downgraded from an A-Rank to C-Rank. Going all the way back to WCW/nWo World Tour, Glacier's Cryonic Kick, a devastating move with a high chance of knockout, is now The Morality Check, a D-rank move with no chance of knockout (despite being a Special-only move).
  • Out-of-Character Moment: This can happen if you play as a real wrestler in storyline mode. The best example would be if you play the World Title Storyline Mode without starting as a champion. Playing as Triple H, Vince McMahon or Stephanie McMahon will result in them getting put through the same hell they put other wrestlers through while someone else replaces them as an antagonist.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The WWF Championship mode follows the actual story lines of Triple H, Steve Austin, Mankind, The Rock, or Chris Jericho depending on what path you take.
  • Ring Oldies: Vince McMahon, Linda McMahon, Gerald Briscoe, Pat Patterson, Mae Young, Fabulous Moolah, Jerry Lawler, and Paul Bearer.
  • Rubber-Band A.I.: One of the most notorious examples of the trope. If you beat the computer player up too much, especially on the higher difficulties, it will suddenly start reversing everything and gaining spirit at warp speed. Players get all of these advantages as well in the same situation, but the reversal rate isn't as high.
  • Shown Their Work: The difference between No Mercy and the previous WrestleMania 2000 really is amazing. The championship career storylines are accurate abridged retellings of the hot feuds of the past year such as the McMahon-Helmsley era, and this was one of the games that is greatly improved by having branching storylines depending on your decisions and win-loss record. The midi music is amazing, with full and accurate themes for several wrestlers and really impressive versions for everybody else, and the moves, taunts and outfits are pretty accurate missing only a few months before the game's release.
  • Take That!:
    • Mae Young and The Fabulous Moohlah were given the Jackhammer as their front grapple finisher and the Scorpion Death Drop as their back grapple finisher. Those were of course the finishing moves of top WCW stars Goldberg and Sting.
    • Ric Flair's move where he'd take a chop, face plant, beg for mercy and then poke the opponent in the eye was called the Old Man Flop in the game.
    • This game took place during the time period when The Stooges (Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco) were using Hulk Hogan's taunts and theme music, and this was included in the game. Similarly, although Big Show was removed, his "Showster" attirenote  remained in the game. (Of course, this meant that it was very easy to make an accurate Hulk Hogan CAW, so the Take That! may have backfired)
  • Took a Level in Badass: Steven Richards. In WWF at the time he was mainly a managerial figure who relied on his stable to do his dirty work for him. But due to the aforementioned issues with Big Show being removed from the game, Richards was put in his place in the storylines as a main event caliber wrestler.
  • Underboobs: One of Terri's outfits features these. She'd worn the outfit in Real Life. During the cinematic intro, the camera does a slow pan up her body at an angle while she's wearing this outfit.
  • When Elders Attack: In Tag Team Championship mode (if you don't start as the champion), Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco are the first team to come out and challenge you. If you choose to play as Patterson and Brisco in Tag Team Championship Mode, Paul Bearer and Howard Finkle take their place.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Three different examples.
    • In story mode, the game does not restrict your character selection. So you can play as a male character and win the Woman's Title if that's your thing. You can also play as a female character and go after the World Title (or any other), and your opponents will try to hit you.
    • In story mode when competing for the Women's Title, one of the last matches has the male tag team partner of the woman's champion in the last chapter (Triple H for Stephanie, Essa Rios for Lita, Eddie Guerrero for Chyna, Val Venis for everyone else) fight you for it.
    • In the Tag Team storyline, if you don't start as the Champions, your storyline starts with Mae Young and Fabulous Moolah challenging you to a tag team match.