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Video Game / Z

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Z (pronounced Zed) is a 1996 Real-Time Strategy game by Bitmap Brothers set in a galaxy far far away where a perpetual war is taking place between two different Interplanetary Empires of sentient biped Robots; the heroic red MegaCom Corporation and the dastardy blue TransGlobal Empires. We follow the story of Commander Zod and his two transport pilots Brad and Allan as they travel across five different worlds; blowing things up, knocking back rocket fuel and taking down names.

In 2001 a sequel was made; Z: Steel Soldiers which followed the story of Zod (now a lowly Captain) being in charge of one side of a neutral zone on a distant planet. Currently the two forces are under a ceasefire and the possibility for a more permanent peace is also certain. Zod however enters the neutral zone after his men having shot down an aircraft, on it he finds a new secret weapon and uncovers a massive plot of the blues to wipe out major strategic red bases all at once during the peace talks.

In no way related to the 1969 French political film Z, but it's a easy mistake to make.

This game contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Area: Battlefields are littered with abandoned factories, vehicles and grenades. Also, the last world is a decaying industrial complex.
  • A.I. Breaker: A human player can engage enemy tanks and guns and retreat before they turn their turret around to return fire.
  • Artificial Stupidity
    • Robots will forcibly try to take flags and hardware, meaning they could run into an enemy guard turret's fire.
  • Blood Knight: Zod, in both games. In the second game, he orders his men to patrol a neutral zone and tells them to shoot down an enemy transport ship, even though a ceasefire was in place.
  • The Captain: Zod, in the second game.
  • Color-Coded Armies: Reds Vs Blues, the multi-player of the second game includes additional colors too.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Mostly played straight, although heavily damaged vehicles move and fire slower, and factories will have an increased production time.
  • Damage Is Fire
  • Dodge the Bullet: Cannon projectiles and thrown grenades are so slow that a properly maneuvered jeep can evade them for enough time to shoot the enemy or tank driver with faster, low-caliber bullets. AI takes advantage of this.
  • Easy Level Trick
    • Sometimes it is possible to win by moving all of your units through a single lane or backdoor into to the enemy fort, since the computer opponent typically spreads its forces wide around the battlefield.
  • Flash of Pain
  • Geo Effects: Water allows infantry to pass (if lucky enough not to be eaten by a crocodile or a swamp monster), vehicles need a bridge, which can be damaged (and repaired with a crane). Rocks and ice walls can be blown up.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The game has its moments. Sometimes a lucky shot from a sniper could disable an enemy tank, greatly increasing the chances of victory.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: Averted in that exploding tanks sometimes shoot their turrets into the air. A falling turret can destroy another tank, which can lead to chain reactions.
  • One-Letter Title
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech/You Bastard: If you fail the mission by losing your territories and letting the enemy destroy your base, your entire army insults you and blames you for these reasons.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: They walk, they talk, they get drunk on rocket fuel. Oh and they also use computers with keyboards and drive around in tanks.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Five of them: Desert, Volcanic, Arctic, Jungle, and City.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: This is how you win the game. Either you shoot the opponent's fort from outside with lasers, tanks and missiles, or you send a single unit inside it. Anyway, it blows up.
  • Updated Re-release: The game and its sequel eventually saw ports to the portable market in 2011, 2014, and 2015, with a new difficulty setting and hints and tips at loading screens, which themselves got ported back to the PC.
  • Variable Mix: Music is more intense during combat and even more so when combat happens close to headquarters.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: Averted. Factories do not need supplies, only time (however, it decreased if you got more territories).

Alternative Title(s): Z Steel Soldiers