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Video Game / X-Men 2: Clone Wars

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X-Men 2: Clone Wars is a 1995 platform game developed by Headgames and released by Sega of America for the Sega Genesis as a sequel to the 1993 side-scrolling video game X-Men (1993). The game is based on The Phalanx Covenant, a storyline about a parasitic alien race known as the Phalanx whose assimilation power curiously did not work on mutants. The game was praised by critics and won retrospective acclaim as one of the best games on the platform. It was supposed to be followed by a sequel titled X-Women: The Sinister Virus, but that game was cancelled at an early stage due to the developer going bust.

The playable characters are Cyclops, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Gambit, Psylocke and Beast. Magneto also becomes playable after beating him at the end of the third level.


  • Actually a Doombot: As the subtitle suggests, most of the enemies in the game are actually Phalanx clones. The only non-Phalanx bosses are Magneto, Apocalypse and Deathbird.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: The second half of the final stage starts with the screen-filling Brood Queen charging from the right side of the screen and chasing you to the left while she fires energy beams from her mouth and explosive pods drop from the ceiling. The only time you can damage her is at points when a wall stops the chase and the Brood Queen charges at you twice, smashing the wall and the armor on her head, letting you get in a few hits before the armor reforms and the chase resumes.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: This game is generally much more forgiving than its predecessor. Mutant power is unlimited, health power-ups are more common, and you are also allowed to switch between characters at the start of every stage in a level. The characters also automatically replenish their health between stages.
    • The lack of a proper save system can be offset by using a level skip code.
  • Ascended Extra: Beast and Psylocke only appeared in cutscene cameos in the first game, but here they are fully playable.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The Brood Queen is only vulnerable after trying to ram the player, which destroys the crest that protects her skull for a few seconds before she regenerates it. You've got those few seconds to damage her before the chase starts up again.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Brood Queen fills a good chunk of the screen and is appropriately the game's penultimate boss.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: The boss fight against the Brood Queen, to simulate her chasing the player. It keeps scrolling until you've beaten her, and then starts scrolling again when her claws start chasing you.
  • Automatic New Game: The game drops you into the first level as soon as the game is on, skipping even the usual opening credits, with a random character (Beast, 9 times out of 10). The title only appears once you clear this stage.
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  • Awesome, but Impractical: Magneto is the Rule of Cool personified, but he's easily the slowest character and even his strongest attacks do less damage than Wolverine's claws or Beast's punches.
  • Background Boss: The Fabian Cortez clone harasses the player with Crosshair Aware attacks for most of two whole levels before he finally busts through a window into the foreground to fight properly.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Subverted — the Brood Queen has one, but it's purely for show, as she opts to go after the player with her Breath Weapon and Ramming Always Works attacks instead.
  • Bladder of Steel: Like its predecessor, Clone Wars has no save feature nor does it use a password system. Apparently the game's designers were aware of the trouble with this, as they wrote in a level skip code.
  • Bonus Boss: In addition to the normal six Psycho Rangers that act as the game's final boss battle, there's also a secret seventh Evil Counterpart of Magneto that the player can choose to fight.
  • Boss Battle: In order — the Sentinel Core, clones of Fabian Cortez and Exodus, Magneto, a clone of Tusk, Apocalypse, a clone of Brain Child, Cameron Hodge, Deathbird, and the Brood Queen. Evil Counterpart Phalanx clones of the six player characters serve as the collective Final Boss, and there's a Bonus Boss fight against a Phalanx clone of Magneto.
  • Boss-Only Level: The Exodus and Brain Child clones get levels all to themselves, as do Magneto and Apocalypse.
  • The Brute: Tusk (his clone, actually) is this to Apocalypse.
  • Bullfight Boss: The Tusk clone will charge you whenever you try to get up onto his platform. It's better just to use projectiles and kill him from a distance.
  • Ceiling Cling: Nightcrawler and Wolverine can both climb across ceilings as well as walls.
  • Charge Attack:
    • Cyclops, Gambit and Nightcrawler each come with a Charge Meter bar in addition to their health meter bar. This bar is used to show a player's charge, which in turn makes their mutant attacks more powerful. Magneto has no charge bar, but he kind of has a version of this — by holding the attack button, he can make his Energy Ball attack travel further across the screen and catch more enemies in its blast radius.
    • The Exodus clone is a rare boss version of this. It will descend charging up energy, during which time it will be invulnerable, and then it'll launch that energy at the player in the form of Homing Lasers. Much like many of the first game's bosses, after it has attacked is the only time it can be damaged.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The second stage of the Sentinel Manufacturing Plant level opens with a conveniently marked emergency exit. You'll end up having to backtrack to it after you defeat the level's boss.
  • Cold Open: Unusually, for a video game. You're immediately dropped into the Siberia stage (making it a somewhat literal example, at that) with a random character upon starting, and beating this stage takes you to the title screen.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The Brood are used interchangeably with the Phalanx in this game, whereas in the comics they are separate races.
    • The entire game is itself a Compressed Adaptation of the Phalanx Covenant storyline. The manual even uses that title for the chapter explaining the game's story.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The AI-controlled Magneto can fly when you fight him in his boss battle. After you defeat him and unlock him as a playable character, he can only float in place, although he jumps higher and further than any of the other characters, qualifying him for In a Single Bound.
  • Cores-and-Turrets Boss / Reactor Boss: The Sentinel Core, which is the boss of the Sentinel manufacturing plant level and the game's first Boss Battle.
  • Crosshair Aware: The Fabian Cortez clone tries to shoot you from the background during a good chunk of the first two Avalon levels (You can see his crosshair when it starts to target your character). He actually does become the level boss at the end, but by then he's in the foreground and he no longer has a visible crosshair.
  • Cutting the Knot: Apocalypse hurls two types of mines at you during the Boss Battle with him, a common rock mine and a rarer blue mine that does damage to his computer's core. Destroy enough blue mines and the core will shut down, forcing Apocalypse to come down and fight... or, if you're playing a high damage dealing character like Wolverine, you can simply beat Apocalypse into submission without even bothering with the mines.
  • Dark Reprise: The final boss battle against clones of the X-Men varies a sinister remix of the title screen theme.
  • Death from Above: A popular trope in this game. Deathbird comes to mind most readily, but the Exodus clone and Magneto have elements of this as well, as does the Brood Queen who periodically summons explosive pods from the ceiling to drop down on the player as she chases them. The most frustrating example, though, is Tusk, who rains down boulders on you all through That One Level, and he seems to always throw them when the player is trying to jump over a crevice, hitting them and knocking them down to the floor below, which in turn necessitates more tedious climbing.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Almost every single enemy you fight explodes upon defeat, the size of the explosion ranging on how powerful or important they were. The only ones who don't are the non clone character Magneto and Apocalypse and maybe Deathbird since she goes down in a series of explosions while falling off screen but we don't get to see her blow up completely.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Magneto becomes playable after you defeat him.
  • Degraded Boss: A form of the Phalanx soldiers you fight on the mothership first show up in the fight with Brainchild, though most players probably make him change forms so quickly they don't get much time to process it. Brainchild's form has the same abilities except his blaster shots fire much faster and are harder to avoid, whereas the regular enemies that show up later have a more predictable pattern.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Magneto of all people, who is usually the Final Boss in X-Men games, is reduced to this to facilitate his becoming a playable character.
  • Double Jump: Nightcrawler, Psylocke and Wolverine all have the ability to double jump.
  • The Dragon: Exodus to Magneto as per the comics, though he has been abducted along with all the other Acolytes and replaced with a clone.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Wolverine and Nightcrawler can both climb walls and ceilings, which allows them to bypass enemies other characters would have to fight. In particular, there's one stage on Avalon that can be entirely avoided by using them and simply climbing up the wall next to the starting door, then continuing across the ceiling until you reach the end of the stage.
  • Energy Ball: Magneto has two attacks, the first of which is a standard energy shot and the second of which is a version of this. This "magnetic destruct orb" is usually strong enough to destroy all the enemies in its immediate radius, but it's also slow to use.
  • Epunymous Title: The game is named X-Men: Clone Wars. Guess what most of the enemies you fight are?
  • Evil Counterpart: The game's final area pits the player against Phalanx clones of all six playable X-Men. There's also a secret Magneto clone, though fighting it is optional.
  • Evil Evolves: The Brain Child clone boss morphs from its default form into one of the common enemies, then one of the tougher enemies, and then into a hideous living tank that Turns Red and chases the player all around the screen.
  • Evil Plan: As detailed in the manual, the Phalanx are running a three-pronged plan. Phase One, which they have already accomplished, is to abduct powerful foes of the X-Men and replace them with Phalanx clones. Phase Two is to seize control of a Sentinel manufacturing plant, the prevention of which is your first assigned task in the game. Their stated "coup de grâce" is to abduct and replace the most powerful of the X-Men's arch-enemies, Magneto himself (they've already abducted and replaced everyone else on Avalon by the time you get there).
  • Evolving Attack: Every character's attacks get stronger when they're at full health - Cyclops's blasts are wider, Wolverine's claw swipe goes further, and so on. Beast gets a special mention for being able to produce shockwaves with his Ground Pound attack at full health.
  • Extremity Extremist: Magneto is the only playable character who has no physical attacks of any kind, using his mutant powers for both his attacks instead.
  • Eye Beams: Cyclops attacks with these.
  • Feather Flechettes: Deathbird's method of attacking the player.
  • Giant Flyer: The Mecha-Mook drones and their boss Deathbird, who moonlights as a...
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Deathbird has some elements of this, seeing as how the Shi'ar are not mentioned at any point prior to her appearance, nor are they mentioned in any way afterward, and there's no real reason for her to be there in the elevator of a Phalanx clone factory. She doesn't explode upon defeat like the Phalanx clone bosses do, marking her as a unique boss like Magneto and Apocalypse, but unlike them no explanation at all is given for her presence. She's just... there, and gone again just as quickly once you beat her.
  • Glamour Failure: Most of the Phalanx clones are indistinguishable from the originals, but the Evil Counterpart bosses at the end are palette-swapped to show them being more raw and new. They also morph into different shapes to attack the player after taking damage.
  • Glass Cannon: Deathbird is one of the last bosses and her attacks do tons of damage, but she folds faster than a cheap paper plate.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: The reason why Psylocke was added to the playable character roster.
    • Clones of Hand Ninjas are also among the game's first enemies, though they only appear in Siberia and at the very beginning of the Sentinel factory stage.
  • Ground Pound: Beast's special attack, which becomes a Shockwave Stomp when he's at full or near-full health.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: The game's major selling point back in the day was offering Magneto as a playable character. He becomes playable about a fourth of the way into the game.
  • Healing Factor: Wolverine, of course. When his health meter is down to one or two bars he can heal, but only to a maximum of three bars.
  • Hive Mind: The Phalanx come with this standard issue and it is built into all their clones, though of course they also have a...
  • Hive Queen: The Brain Child clone boss is specifically mentioned to be a "master clone" controlling the Savage Land's Phalanx colony and when it is destroyed so are all the Savage Land Phalanx clones. There is also a true master queen of the Phalanx, which surprisingly is not the Brood Queen you fight at the end. You never encounter this "master consciousness", though Magneto threatens it in the ending to scare the Phalanx into withdrawing from Earth.
  • Humongous Mecha: Incomplete Sentinels can be see in the background of the Sentinel manufacturing plant stages. You're there to destroy the Sentinel Core before they go online and/or get hijacked by the Phalanx.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: If you run out of lives, you get one last broadcast from Cerebro as the Phalanx begin to assimilate entire cities. At first it starts slowly with New York and Moscow, but the assimilation speeds up so dramatically you can't read the list of assimilated cities without taking a screenshot. GAME OVER.
  • In Medias Res: The first level of the game opens with no title screen or even a character select nor any indication as to what the X-men are doing. Once you complete it you find out that the Phalanx have invaded the Earth and you are given more direction.
  • Jet Pack: The Fabian Cortez clone uses one to fly around the Avalon stages. Apocalypse also flies around on a floating platform that essentially acts as this.
  • King Mook:
    • The Brood Queen is of course the feminine version of this trope, with her offspring appearing as Elite Mooks in the level before you have to fight her.
    • The Fabian Cortez clone is this to the Avalon clone Mooks. He's the background Acolyte in the first Avalon stage and the boss of the second.
    • Cameron Hodge is this to the generic Phalanx enemies. He's the first boss the player faces in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Leitmotif: Each playable character has a subtly different variation of the music in certain levels. This is notable in the Siberia Cold Open level, as well as the Apocalypse and Savage Land levels.
    • If a game is being played in the 2-player mode, the themes of both characters will play simultaneously, creating a Variable Mix.
    • Each of the Phalanx clones use a variation of the main title theme based on each character during the fights with them.
  • Level in Reverse: After destroying the Sentinel Core a countdown is initiated, giving you exactly 134 seconds to backtrack to the exit before you lose a life.
  • Made of Explodium: You can always tell which enemies are Phalanx clones by whether or not they explode upon defeat. The stronger a clone, the more explosions it generates.
  • Marathon Boss: Apocalypse takes significantly longer to beat than any of the other bosses if the player is going for the 'disable his computer first' strategy. Generally it takes destroying a dozen blue mines to disable the computer, at which time Apocalypse will finally come down for the player to pound his blue lips in.
  • Marathon Level: The final level is almost as long as the entire rest of the game combined.
  • Mecha-Mook: Most of the Mooks in the Sentinel Manufacturing Plant are machines, with only a few Hand ninja clones at the very start of the stage.
    • There are also unique Snow-going mechas in the Siberia level. They are the only non-unique enemy in this game that isn't Made of Explodium.
  • Mission Control: There's a Cerebro briefing before and after every level.
  • Mook Maker: The Tusk clone is a particular annoying variation. Not only is he constantly spawning his underlings during the fight with him, he's also spawning them through the whole level, raining them down on you from ten floors up while you painstakingly climb up to him and try not to get killed by his underlings or the falling rocks he'll also periodically rain down on you.
  • Mooks: Semi-averted in the Avalon stages, which actually feature three different types of Acolyte clone enemies.
  • Mooks but No Bosses: The compulsory introduction level in Siberia has no boss, instead just taking the player to the title screen after you reach the end.
  • Mr. Exposition: Professor X and the Cerebro machine, both of whom dump gratuitous helpings of exposition on the player between levels.
  • Multiple Game Openings: As noted above, the game starts off with a cold open, loading up the first stage in Siberia and a randomly selected character whenever you turn it on. If you don't like the character you get, you can just hit the reset button until you get the right one, but no matter which character you play through the stage as you always end up at the main screen after completing it.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: Played with — Apocalypse's sprite was made more muscular than in the first game, mirroring the evolution of the character in general, but he's actually a fair bit more passive than when you fight him in the first game, almost to the point of being a Cowardly Boss.
  • Nerf: Magneto was intentionally nerfed to be better balanced with the other characters, but in retrospect he may have been nerfed a bit too strongly, to the point where he's actually the most difficult character to play through the game with.
    • Nightcrawler's teleporting was also nerfed heavily from the first game. He can no longer teleport through walls of any kind.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The Exodus clone is invulnerable whenever its Battle Aura is up and the Brood Queen is only vulnerable when she destroys the crest protecting her skull.
  • Power Floats: At least half if not more of Avalon's residents boast this, including an entire class of Mooks, Magneto's Dragon Exodus and of course Magneto himself. Apocalypse is a wannabe version, as he gets around on a floating platform in the boss fight against him.
  • Run, Don't Walk: Played straight with all playable characters except Magneto, who inverts this.
  • Running on All Fours: This is how Beast runs.
  • Scenery Porn / Technology Porn: Just as in X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse, the Avalon stages are absolutely stellar. And unlike that game, you get to play them fairly early on too!
  • Shapeshifter Weapon: Apocalypse attacks by morphing his arm into an Epic Flail to attack the player character.
  • Soul-Cutting Blade: Psylocke's psychic knife attack, which is a One-Hit Kill but only works on organic enemies (luckily, many Phalanx enemies do count as such.)
  • Space Base: Avalon, which is comprised of five distinct stages: an outer level, an inner level, a drop down an elevator shaft and the two boss battles with an Exodus clone and Magneto.
  • Stock Sound Effects: Every male character in the game makes the same grunt when they take damage. Deathbird and Psylocke are the game's only two female characters, and they share a second feminine grunt sound.
  • Super Strength: Beast has the strongest punches of all the playable characters. Wolverine's attacks do more damage, but of course he has the benefit of Wolverine Claws.
  • Taking You with Me: The Brood Queen tries pulling this; after taking enough damage, her damaged body lumbers offscreen. The music lulls the player into a false sense of security, and then WHAM you're suddenly being chased by her disembodied claws! The claws also morph into The Psycho Rangers that act as the game's Final Boss after they're done chasing you.
    • At the end of the game, After destroying the cloning facility, Magneto threatens to destroy the entire mothership, even if it kills him and the X-Men. The Phalanx offer to release all of their kidnapped, let the X-Men leave without harm and promise to never threaten Earth again. The narrator isn't sure if Magneto was bluffing or about to fly into a rage at the thought of mass kidnappings.
  • Timed Mission: After defeating the Sentinel Core boss, you're given 134 seconds to escape from the factory before it blows up. The timer doesn't start until you leave the Core.
  • Troll: The Cerebro briefing explains that Apocalypse has shut down his own defenses and allowed the Phalanx to assimilate his own fortress, apparently just for the hell of it and just to give the X-Men a headache. Worse, he trolls the X-Men during the actual boss fight with him, opting to float offscreen and launch futuristic dodgeballs at the player for 75% of the fight rather than just get down off his floating platform and fight like a mutant.
  • Turns Red: The programmers at Headgames were apparently big fans of this trope. The Sentinel Core, Apocalypse's computer and Brain Child's final form all turn red during their respective boss battles.
    • Averted in the Cameron Hodge boss battle. Rather than turning red, Hodge's yellow body starts flashing multicolored the more you damage it.
  • Undying Loyalty: Magneto joins forces with the X-Men only after learning that his Acolytes have been abducted by the Phalanx, and his goal in tagging along with the team is to rescue them.
    • During the epilogue, Cyclops is quite angry at Magneto for threatening to destroy the Phalanx even if it meant killing the X-Men. Magneto asks if his teammates would do the same in the situation, and Cyclops feels his teammates give their support. They would willingly sacrifice themselves if meant saving the world and forming peace between mutants and mankind.
  • Vehicular Assault: The Brain Child clone boss first appears in a hovercraft which fires missiles at the player. Its final form also has elements of this, being a techno-organic tank thing with a Ramming Always Works strategy.
  • Video Game Settings:
  • Wall Crawl: Nightcrawler can do this as if he was Spider-Man. Wolverine can also do a slower (and somewhat less practical) version of this with his claws.
  • Wall Jump: Beast and Psylocke's preferred method for getting up walls is to go at them Mega Man-style.
  • Weapon of Choice: Gambit and Psylocke both fight with their trademark weapons as well as their mutant powers.
  • Wham Line:
    Cerebro: WARNING: The clone factory is capable of duplicating any being in close proximity to its sensor arrays!
  • Wolverine Publicity: Wolverine basks in the perks of this as usual, as he is the game's most effective player character by a long shot. He's one of the fastest characters in the game, has a double jump, can climb on walls and the ceiling to avoid enemies and skip large portions of some stages, his super attack can kill any normal enemy in one hit when you're at full health and requires no charge up like other powers such as Cyclops', and his Healing Factor allows him to heal up to three bars of health turning every battle into a cakewalk provided you're patient. Clone Wars has no adjustable difficulty settings, but playing as Wolverine is basically the game's version of easy mode.


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