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Bandits: Phoenix Rising is a Vehicular Combat game developed by GRIN (who would later go on to create the 2009 Bionic Commando and Bionic Commando: Rearmed) and published by Pan Vision in 2002. It used GRIN's in-house "Diesel" engine, which they used for all their games.
It's After the End. The world is a ravaged, nuclear wasteland, ruled by marauding gangs armed with Weaponized Cars, who scavenge for useful bits leftover from the old world. The last holdout of civilization, or something vaguely resembling it, is the fortress-city of Jericho. It's armies jealously protect a vast fortune in gold from the gangs.
The game's story follows the misadventures of Fennec and Rewdalf, just two of the many titular bandits. In this case, co-leaders of the Wolfpack gang. Always on the lookout for the next big score, they stumble upon a trail of ancient mechanical components that they hope will help them assemble a weapon capable of breaching the walls of Jericho and letting them at the treasure within. What will they do with it? Buy more guns, probably.
That's the campaign. The game also featured multi-player deathmatches and objective-based gametypes via Game Spy.
Bandits: Phoenix Rising provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Lucy, of the Crusaders gang.
- And Man Grew Proud: There's nothing recognizable left. If the intro is anything to go on, Just Before the End was already Twenty Minutes Into the Future.
- Anti-Hero: Maybe even Villain Protagonist. Fennec and Rewdalf's sole motivation seems to be Greed.
- The Apunkalypse: "It became a world... of BANDITS."
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Rewdalf likes violence, beer, gold, more violence and... Billy Ray Cyrus.
Fennec: "Billy Ray?!"
- Batman Cold Open: The opening levels concern Fennec and Rewdalf stealing a cactus beer distiller from the Flaming Pumpkins, the Wolfpack having a celebratory race after that and the Flaming Pumpkins' ensuing counterattack. These events are completely unrelated to the search for the Phoenix.
- Bottomless Magazines: Your primary weapon never runs out of ammo or needs to be reloaded. Secondaries have a pool of limited ammo that can be refilled via ammuntion pickups.
- Big Bad: It's hard to call Sebastien one, as he's not seen or heard unless you choose to go up against his enormous battle-car at the end of the game. You don't even meet him if you choose to go after the gold truck. More likely, Lucie could be considered one.
- Big Bulky Bomb: The aptly-named Apocalypse missile launcher.
- Blonde Guys Are Evil: Sebastien.
- Blood Knight: Rewdalf revels in combat. Fennec occasionally calls him out on it.
- Boss Banter
- Color Coded for Your Convenience: Red for the Wolfpack, orange for Flaming Pumpkins, green for the Crusaders, blue for the Enclave and black for Jericho.
- Cutscene: Occasionally, (thrice, to be exact) the player is treated to a text-based interlude written from another character's perspective. One is from a Flaming Pumpkin Mook who survived getting his car wrecked by the heroes and decides to give up marauding and open a bakery. Another is from a Crusaders Red Shirt writing home to his family. The last? Well, it's Rewdalf singing Jingle Bells. Substitute "cannon-mounted" for "one-horse open" where appropriate. Sometimes he just sings simlish.
- Death Is Cheap
Rewdalf: "Better luck next time... I hope."
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Certain lines of cut dialogue have Rewdalf act rather... excited about the Phoenix.
- Escort Mission: More then once, you must escort unarmed cargo trucks. Another has you escort a cannon-mounted, armored Cool Train.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: Though given how flimsy-looking a lot of them are, it's perhaps not surprising.
- Evil Old Folks: Vincent, the rather loud "prophet" leader of The Enclave.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Sebastien.
- Face Framed in Shadow: Jericho soldiers.
- Fat Bastard: Daud, leader of the Flaming Pumpkins- but only because he double-crossed Rewdalf and left him for dead in a mine field. Serves as both the Disk One Final Boss and a Wake Up Call Boss, as his war-truck is much, much tougher then anything you will have faced up to that point. He reappears later... with friends.
- Fragile Speedster: The Badger, your starting vehicle.
- Game Mod: It was idiotically easy to edit this game's files and play around with things like weapon damage, enemy health, etc.
- Goggles Do Nothing: Fennec. Though he actually wears his over his eyes, in deference to the standard.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck: Rewdalf uses the word crap. A lot. Entire sentences, even.
- Good Bad Translation: Russian translation slightly mangled the storyline and even changed some of the lead characters' names (Fennec >> Marx, Vincent >> Samodelkin). But since the script changed mostly the thigns russian players wouldn't understand, added a lot of hilarious references, followed the Rule of Funny and was voiced by fitting actors, a lot of players consider it way better than the original.
- Grenade Launcher: The high arc of this weapon makes it rather difficult to aim effectively.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: Fennec and Rewdalf.
- Intrepid Merchant: Part of the Backstory is a series of journal entries by wandering trader Tormee, who runs into Fennec and Rewdalf shortly before events of the game take place.
- Jack of All Stats: The Cyclone, found midway through the game.
- Leitmotif: Though not a single tune, each of the four primary gangs has a particular genre to their part of the soundtrack. The Wolfpack are represented by funk, the Flaming Pumpkins by hard rock, the Crusaders by heavy house industrial and the Enclave by trance techno.
- Malevolent Masked Men: The Enclave. They all wear gas masks and seem to follow some kind of Religion of Evil.
- Mighty Glacier: The Ogre, the last car you find. Among other things, it is the only car of the three that can equip two primary weapons.
- Mooks: Come in several flavors, of increasing power and ability: The Flaming Pumpkins, the Enclave and finally the Jericho Army.
- Mood Whiplash: The intro may lead you to believe this game is deadly serious. It isn't.
- Multiple Endings: Sort of. Whether you choose to challenge Sebastien or go after the gold, Fennec and Rewdalf still end up getting chased by everybody.
- Nintendo Hard: Learn to conserve your health, use your secondary weapons effectively and focus your attacks on a single target at a time or you will lose, over and over and over.
- Noodle Incident: Rewdalf often recalls the time they raided a chicken truck, but before he can recount the tale Fennec always cuts him off, saying he'd rather not be reminded of it.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Rewdalf is a Scottish-sounding, trigger-happy midget who likes to say crap and drink beer. He's also part Spanish.
- The Remnant: The Crusaders, judging by their military-style colors and symbols, would seem to be remnants of some national army. Exactly which isn't clear, though the Full Metal Jacket -quoting grunts would seem to indicate American origin.
- Scavenger World: There's very little of the previous world left, and all the cars look to be cobbled together from whatever was on hand. A bit of Description Porn in the manual describes how the Badger was built using things like a fighter plane's engine and bits of a cargo ship's hull.
- Sentry Gun: In one mission, Rewdalf gets to take control of a powerful stationary defense cannon While Fennec fixes their car.
- Short-Range Shotgun: Coupled with the fact that everybody's moving around really fast, the shotgun can be hard to use.
- Sniper Rifle: Sniper cannons, even.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Hoo boy.
- Tank Goodness: Wondering what all those gigantic parts were for? What they make if you put em together? Why, the Phoenix, of course. A tank. A very large, forgotten super-tank.
- The Unintelligible: Jericho soldiers use radio scrambling devices, making their communications sound like total gibberish.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Fennec is fairly cool and level-headed, Rewdalf is short and very angry.
- Xanatos Gambit: Out of goddamn nowhere, Lucy shows up after you defeat Sebastian, and reveals that she used you to find the Phoenix tank and take control of Jericho. She promptly declares that You Have Outlived Your Usefulness.