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Video Game / Full Throttle

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Hell yeah!

"Whenever I smell asphalt, I think of Maureen. That's the last sensation I had before I blacked out; that thick smell of asphalt. And the first thing I saw when I woke up was her face. She said she'd fix my bike. Free. No strings attached. I should've known then that things are never that simple. Yeah, when I think of Maureen, I think of two things: asphalt... and trouble."
Ben, the opening narration

Full Throttle is a SCUMM based LucasArts Adventure Game released in 1995, set in a futuristic world somewhat reminiscent of Mad Max and focusing on Ben Throttle, leader of the motorcycle gang "The Polecats." After unexpectedly making friends with Corley Motors CEO Malcolm Corley while resting at The Kickstand (a biker bar), he's taken out back by Corley's vice-president and confidant, Adrian Ripburger. Ripburger offers him and the Polecats a job to escort the limo to the annual shareholders meeting, but Ben declines out of pride. Ripburger has Ben knocked out by his private thugs and chucks him in a dumpster, tricking the Polecats into following along with the escort. Ben attempts pursuit to make up for lost time, expecting an ambush for his gang, but finds his bike sabotaged and brutally wrecked on the highway. When he wakes up, he finds he's in a small mechanic's shop belonging to toaster repairman Maureen. She offers to fix his bike for free, as a favor, and also for the pleasure of working on a bike for the first time in a long while. But Ben quickly learns that things are not so simple, as his pursuit of Ripburger and his friendship with Maureen lead him into a greater conspiracy than he realized.


The first game to be directed by Tim Schafer, Full Throttle features more of Schafer's sharp wit and love of heavy metal. It also had full voice acting and at-the-time revolutionary 3D rendering for the biker sequences. In addition, it was the only Lucas Arts game to make extensive use of licensed music, in this case by "authentic biker" metal band The Gone Jackals. While mostly an adventure game, it also splices in action-based bike fights during the driving sequences. The game is also notoriously short, even by adventure game standards, able to be completed in 4 hours even if you don't hurry. The game still has a cult following to this day.

Like Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle, it got a remastered version, courtesy of Double Fine Productions.

For the Pinball game from Heighway Pinball, click here.


This game provides examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Hard to think otherwise on a setting with limos and minivans moving around on hovercraft fans, not to mention the two-seater police chopper which looks a bit too much like a repurposed dinghy.
  • All Bikers Are Hells Angels: Combine this with Bad Ass Biker and use liberally for the entire game.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Both Ben, and former Polecats leader Father Torque, are hard as nails and Ben is by far the toughest mofo in the game.
    • Ripburger turns out to be a lot more dangerous than you'd expect from a businessman. Granted, he never fights anyone hand to hand and relies on sneak attacks and guns, but still
  • Badass Biker: Ben displays his badassitude early in the game when interrogating Quohog the bartender.
    Ben: (referring to Quohog's nose ring) You know what might look better on your nose?
    Quohog: What?
    (Ben grabs Quohog by the nose ring and slams his face down on the counter)
    Ben: The bar.
  • Badass Boast: After getting his keys back from Quohog, Ben races down the highway to catch up with his crew, when he notices a random Rottwheeler trying to intercept him:
    "When I'm on the road, I'm indestructible. No one can stop me... but they try."
  • Badass Preacher: Father Torque, the former leader of the Polecats, is apparently a REAL priest, or at the very least the biker equivalent of one, as he is the one performing Malcom Corley's funeral rites during the ending.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Ben jumps onto his chopper and rides out of the crashing plane, the game does a Fade to White, cutting to a funeral, making it seem as if Ben were the deceased and being honored. It isn't until Father Torque starts talking about how the dead gave them freedom that Ben is revealed to be one of the mourners, and the funeral is for Malcolm Corley.
  • The Bartender: Quohog the bartender at The Kickstand has a large nose ring he got on a dare and apparently took an art class. Ben also hits him up for info a few times (literally hitting him the first time).
  • Biker Babe: The Vultures have several of these as members, one of whom is Maureen.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Maureen rightfully inherits her father's company, and Ben and the Polecats are cleared. But Maureen must trade her free biker life for that of a restricted corporate executive, which also costs her a budding relationship with Ben, who is last seen leaving her and riding off on his bike.
  • But Now I Must Go: Realizing that Maureen taking her fathers place in the boardroom means that there is no place for him in her life, Ben returns to the open road with the Polecats
  • Can't You Read the Sign?: Ben was knocked out and his unconscious body thrown in the dumpster out back. Then the player can kick the dumpster, thus violating about every single safety warning on the dumpster within the first couple minutes of gameplay.
  • Car Fu: The Corley Derby obviously. Also, Ripburger hijacks a truck and attempts to run down Ben and Maureen during the climax
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Ripburger, who is so obvious he should have a handlebar mustache to twirl. Corley isn't fooled, though.
  • Chain Pain: One of the Vultures, Michael, uses a chain as his signature weapon. Ben can acquire one after defeating him.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The tire iron. A couple of early puzzles, a starter weapon on the Mine Road... and then it's back for the finale.
  • Clear My Name: About halfway through the plot, Ben and the Polecats are framed for Malcolm Corley's murder.
  • Co-Dragons: Nestor, the smart guy, and Bolus, the brute.
  • Cool Car: The game focuses mostly on bikes, but theres a few sweet cars around, notably the demolition derby cars, and Ripburgers stolen truck, which includes machine guns
  • Cool Old Guy: Father Torque; but you can't beat Malcolm Corley. Both of whom are voiced by the same guy!
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Adrian Ripburger. See also Evil Chancellor.
  • Covers Always Spoil: The box and the disc both depict the final player-guided moment of the game. Of course, it's almost impossible to guess the context of the shot, other than that Ben rides away from an explosion.
  • Cozy Catastrophe: Implied, even lampshaded, though never really stated. The "Apocalypse" really just got rid of all the annoying authority figures so everyone could ride around on motorcycles looking badass.
    • When asked about it, though, Tim Schafer denies that the game takes place after a nuclear holocaust, and that a song about nuclear meltdown is just in the game as a Shout-Out to a song composer Peter McConnell worked on.
  • Credits Gag: Many. Top marks goes to listing the crew's cats, an entire "Special Biker Haiku Section", and toy bunnies scampering into the sunset.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Ripburger beats Corley to death with his cane.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you take too long to solve any of the endgame puzzles, the game will finish off with everyone dying a rather brutal death (in a majority of cases, falling into the ravine). However, every time this happens, the screen will then black out, as we hear Ben quite casually say something like "oops, let's try that again," where the game then cuts back to the beginning of the sequence for another chance. Aside from having to start the puzzle from the beginning, there is zero penalty for "dying."
  • Disney Villain Death: Ripburger falls off of a cliff at the end of the game.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Ben has the video of Ripburger gleefully murdering Malcolm Corley during his stockholder's speech.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Ben gets a badass one when his first puzzle is solved by grabbing the bartender's nose ring and slamming his face to the bar, as noted in Badass Biker above.
  • Exact Words: When you first meet Maureen, she says you could call her shop a Corley facility (because she's Corley's daughter). She also prefers to call it a "renegade" operation rather than an illegitimate one (because she's Corley's illegitimate daughter)
  • Expy: Malcolm Corley is based on Malcolm Forbes, a multibillionaire who had a taste for choppers (and leather, for that matter).
  • Eyes Always Shut: Most characters' eyes are narrowed and in shadow for the majority of their appearance on-screen. The remastered version's commentary track says it was a deliberate effort to channel Clint Eastwood's squint (and just so happened to be easier to animate, particularly when dealing with the pixel art of the original release).
  • Faking the Dead: A mission at the end of the game requires that Ben and Maureen fake their own deaths to Ripburger in order to lure him out of hiding.
  • False Reassurance: Ripburger sneaks a hint about his plans in the opening scene. To his credit, his tone sounds more like 'indignant denial' than Sarcastic Confession.
    Corley: I know your plan, Ripburger. You're waiting for me to die so you can take over my company!
    Ripburger: (chuckling) Sir, that's horrible... I am not waiting for you to die!
    • Note that this is also Exact Words: Ripburger isn't waiting for anything!
  • Felony Misdemeanor: "He wants to start making minivans. You understand me? MINIVANS!" Sounds like this, but Corley Motors is the last dedicated motorcycle manufacturer in the country, and them switching to the family vehicle market would be a death sentence for biker culture.
  • Five-Finger Fillet: Emmett is playing this when he appears at the Kickstand, though he's not very good. In a hidden minigame, Ben can show him how it's done.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Invoked with the "Can't Beat A Corley" slogan. Turns into the Karmic Death moment later as seen below.
  • Genius Bruiser: Several of those bikers are both very badass and frighteningly smart people, not least Ben.
  • Girly Run: Ben, which is probably why he's always on a Corley motorcycle.
  • Giving Them the Strip: Miranda escapes from Bolus by slipping out of her vest.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: The Cavefish use special goggles to compensate for their cave blindness. Their display includes a highlighted route, threat and target detectors, and an indicator of the location of their secret base.
  • A Handful for an Eye: You can throw caustic fertilizer in the eyes of goggle-less bikers during the bike combat section.
  • Heroic Bastard: According to Maureen, Malcolm Corley had her out of wedlock and kept her as his secret.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Malcolm Corley is dedicated to his product and his workers, in contrast to his Vice-President, Ripburger, who would pursue profits by outsourcing labour, increasing automation, and switching to more profitable family vehicles. Maureen Corley steps into her father's shoes in the end, committing to expanding services for workers.
  • Immoral Journalist: Downplayed by the reporter Miranda: she is not actively malicious, but when she sees a potential tragedy, her first instinct is to write a story about it and send it in to her editor, and only then does she consider helping the victims. For example, while she does administer first aid to Ben after he crashes his bike early in the game, she does so only after shooting a bunch of photos of his unconscious body. Later on, when she overhears that Malcolm Corley is "headed for an ambush", she stakes out in the bushes with a camera to document said ambush instead of warning him, leading to his death (though she manages to capture the murder on film, which then becomes the main MacGuffin of the plot).
  • Incendiary Exponent: Lampshaded and parodied:
    Announcer: It's the Unknown Avenger — and he's on fire! Well, let's give him a hand, folks. That looks painful!
    Crowd: (cheers, conspicuously fails to help the man running around on fire in the arena portion of a stadium)
    • If it goes on long enough, the announcer has other lines about it.
      "This is your moment to shine!"
      "We really should put him out — but what a show, huh?"
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Ben's sabotage Ripburger's presentation is perfectly timed to undermine what Ripburger's saying at the time: his "vision for Corley Motors" is the company burning away to nothing (as Ben sets the projector on fire) and his "more aggressive corporate strategy" is him beating Malcolm to death (as Ben switches out the slideshow with damning evidence).
  • Intrepid Reporter: Miranda; downplayed in that she feels ashamed when she shows signs of humanity.
  • Karmic Death: The crux of Ripburger's plan is his savage beating of Malcolm Corley. In the game's finale, Ripburger falls to his death when, after attempting to kill the last of the Corley family and failing miserably, the license plate (belonging to a huge truck) he's holding on to snaps off of the truck. The plate bears the company slogan, "Can't Beat A Corley".
  • Last of His Kind: Ben mentions that Corley is the last dedicated bike manufacturer around, everyone else having switched to the more profitable car and family vehicle industry.
  • Last Villain Stand: See the Taking You With Me section below.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: A few times. One funny instance is when Ben yells at Ripburger, "You're going to kill all of us!" Ripburger replies, "Shhh, Ben, you'll ruin the ending!" Which is sort of a Red Herring.
  • Mega Manning: Defeating an enemy in the Old Mine Road sequence grants you their weapon, and different enemies are vulnerable to different weapons - for instance, the flail can be used to disarm a chain-user. Two weapons are needed to unlock puzzle-solving items; the rest are just for combat.
  • Mega-Maw Maneuver: In the final sequence, the Vultures' Jumbo Cargo Transport swallows Ripburger's semi.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: Ben is accused of killing Malcolm Corley thanks to Ripburger. Unfortunately for him, Corley's daughter Maureen also believes he did it and tries to have him drawn and quartered via motorcycle.
  • Motorcycle Jousting: Occurs as a minigame.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Ripburger is not the name of a guy you should take financial advice from, let alone put as your second in command for your company or let handle your security when you are taking a long road trip with just him and his flunkies and the biker gang he hired. Corley mainly kept him around because of Ripburgers business savy and killer instinct, but always disliked the man immensly.
  • No Fair Cheating: Most Mine Road fights can be cheated past, but the Cavefish will only drop their goggles if knocked out with the two-by-four - using the cheat counts as defeating them with another weapon, which leads to them activating their Self-Destruct Mechanism and taking their goggles with them.
  • Noodle Incident: During the opening cutscene, Malcolm and the Polecats are all laughing together about a story that the former just told, but isn't heard by the player.
    Ben: But Malcolm, isn't that illegal?
    Malcolm: Not back then, it wasn't!
    (The bar erupts into laughter.)
  • No Romantic Resolution: With Maureen taking over Corley Motors, Ben realizes that a relationship with her is impossible, leaving off riding into the sunset.
  • Now Which One Was That Voice?: A variation - voice talent is fully credited, but many of the minor characters are never actually named in-game, so we're left to try to guess (for instance) which of the Rottwheelers is Blotch and which is Sizeable Bill.
  • Obviously Evil: Ripburger. Sounding like The Joker doesn't help.
  • Only One Name: Ben's last name is never given during the game. The manual calls him Ben Whatsisname, (though that's probably a joke) while Tim Schafer says his last name is Throttle.
  • Opening Monologue
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Exploited, the villains actually see through it, but this was planned in order to fake the characters' deaths.
  • Parental Abandonment: Maureen's father abandoned her when she was quite young, leaving her too depressed to work on anything but toasters up until the events of the game. Eventually, it's revealed that her father is Malcolm Corley, and while he used to maintain a strong relationship with his daughter, he eventually cut it off at Ripburger's advice since she was an illegitimate child.
  • Perma-Stubble: Ben.
  • Pixel Hunt: The rock-kicking puzzle near the end - also counts for That One Level for its insanity.
    In the commentary, Tim Schafer described getting a lot of flak about the puzzle, and being genuinely surprised that so many people did not figure out that the crack was at eye level for a 4-year-old, and therefore much shorter, Maureen.
  • Private Eye Monologue: The quote at the top of the page that opens the game.
  • Put on a Bus: Miranda. She asks you to find her publisher, and is never heard from again.
  • Rated M for Manly
  • Retired Badass: Malcolm Corley seems to have been quite a biker in his youth, considering that he apparently managed to impress Ben with his stories of the old days.
    • Father Torque, the former leader of the Polecats. He even finds retirement a bit boring and can be found riding around on the Old Mine Road looking for trouble.
  • "Ride of the Valkyries": Clearing the minefield, featuring a fantastic contradiction between a full orchestra and a cheap pink, plinky-plonk synthetic bunnies.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Twice!
  • Shout-Out: The Vultures fought on the Mine Road are Wendy, Razor, Michael and Sid from Maniac Mansion.
    • This being LucasArts, there's a couple to Star Wars:
      • Miranda: "Help me Ben, you're my only hope!"
      • Emmet has a tattoo of the Imperial insignia.
      • One of the mooks fought on Mine Road has a tattoo of the Rebel Alliance on his forehead.
      • The Cavefish are Tusken Raiders.
      • The left-most driver at the beginning of the demolition derby bears no resemblance whatsoever to George Lucas. Nope. Nosiree...
    • Todd tells you to "get your greasy, oily, leather-wearing carcass off my property," a la movie gangster Johnny from Home Alone.
  • Smug Snake: Ripburger takes the art of false bonhomie to a new level.
  • Space Whale Aesop: "Sometimes you gotta steal a ramp from a bunch of cold-hearted killers who live in a secret cave."
  • Spiritual Successor: Tim Schafer's Brütal Legend bears some visual similarities to this one, though Brütal Legend is focused entirely on heavy metal. The style of the bikes and cars are almost identical across both games (though no hover cars in Brütal Legend), right down to the giant, spindly forks and a huge Ed "Big Daddy" Roth-style fan of rear pipes and blowers (also seen on the Bone Wagon in Grim Fandango).
    • A cut sequence from the game (thanks to Executive Meddling) in which Ben experienced a peyote-influenced hallucinogenic trip would also go on to inspire a later Schafer project, Psychonauts.
  • The Stinger: The bunnies get one final hurrah after the credits. Technically counts as a Brick Joke as well, as they are introduced in a similar context earlier in the story, albeit to a much less victorious end.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: See also Incendiary Exponent.
  • Swallowed a Fly: Ben chats with his old biker gang leader, Father Torque, while they're both in the middle of riding. Exhausting all conversation trees will cause Torque to say that he can't talk anymore because he's eating too many bugs.
  • Tabletop RPG: A fan created a FUDGE-based ruleset to play FT in tabletop format.
  • Taking You with Me: After Ripburger is exposed and flees in a stolen semi, he catches up with Ben and Mo for a Last Villain Stand, attempting to drive them off of Poyahoga Gorge.
  • Tempting Fate: When Ben gets on his bike at the beginning of the game, he says: "When I'm on the road, I'm indestructible. No one can stop me". Shortly afterwards, his bike's front wheel comes off, and he is knocked out cold.
  • Terrible Trio: Adrian Ripburger and his mooks, Nestor and Bolus.
  • Too Dumb to Live: You can actually be this yourself if, just before Ripburger's death, you decide to start the car engine, which leads to an immediate player death scene. Of course, since Death Is a Slap on the Wrist, the sequence will just restart if you do this.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Even Malcolm doesn't trust him and he's the one who hired him! So it comes as no shock when Ripburger bludgeons the old guy to death with his cane and takes over his company by force. Notably, the game is one of the few uses of this trope that bothers explaining WHY anyone would keep someone like Ripburger around; he's actually a pretty good businessman, something Corley himself admits.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: There's futuristic tech — Malcolm rides in a hover-limo, for instance — but there's no evidence it's far into the future.
  • Video Will: Malcolm has one of these. Playing it at the board meeting is a major plot point.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Ripburger.
  • Wrench Wench: Maureen is an expert when it comes to repairing motorcycles. It comes in handy when she runs Corley Motors, as she's very much in touch with what it takes to manufacture them, too.


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