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Video Game / WWF No Mercy

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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 games — 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.
  • Ascended Extra: Weirdly enough, your created characters can and usually will be more powerful than the Real Life wrestlers, since you can give them all the best advantages (i.e. highest speed, submission expert, highest endurance etc.) and utilize all available Attack/Defense points, which, in the interests of balance and realism, even the most powerful main eventers don't.
  • 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.
  • 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 reversable, 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 actual 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.
  • 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.
  • Dummied Out: Unlike WrestleMania 2000 and WCW/nWo Revenge before that, entrances are limited to just the stage taunt - the walk to the ring and the ring taunt were cut. This was because the game was getting too big for the cartridge to handle and rather than make the unpopular N64 Expansion Pack required to play they cut some memory-draining bells and whistles.
    • The Japanese version featured a shootfighting mechanic, where the B button on a strong grapple allowed you to perform a custom combo. To be fair, the shootfighting had been dummied out of WrestleMania 2000 as well, although it could be seen in WCW Revenge (most notably in Goldberg and Último Dragón's movesets).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The game features an impressive roster that's bolstered by unlockable characters like Vince McMahon and even André the Giant. Headshots and create-a-wrestler pieces were included for a few characters who didn't get included in the game, including Raven.
  • 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.
  • Period Piece: Becoming one of the Attitude Era. The championship modes follow various storylines that actually happened quite closely, and the CAW feature reflects how much more popular long hair was than short hair at the time. More negatively, the lack of Lucha masks reflects WWF's belief at the time that most fans weren't interested in masked wrestlers and cruiserweights.
  • Playing with Fire: The Fireball move. You spit a fireball at your opponent's face.
  • 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 a finishing move. The Jackhammer was the finishing move of WCW star Goldberg. They were also given Sting's Scorpion Death Drop.
    • 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.
  • 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), Mae Young and Fabulous Moolah are the first team to come out and challenge you. If you choose to play as Moolah and Mae in Tag Team Championship Mode, Paul Bearer and Howard Finkle take their place.
  • Would Hit a Girl: One of the last matches for the Women's Title has Triple H fight you for it. The game doesn't restrict your character selection either - you can play as a female wrestler and win the World Title. Or you can play as a male character, beat up a bunch of girls like a jerk and win the Women's Title if you prefer.
    • In the Tag Team storyline, your very first match has you fighting Mae Young and Fabulous Moolah. Although to be fair, they challenge you and not the other way around.

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