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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Alec is a mortal avatar of Thor, God of Thunder, who has come to Mars armed with his hammer Mjolnir after doors killed his family. This is why the first new weapon is a Lightning Gun.
    • The EDF as rather brutal Knight Templar who genuinely care about and are fighting for the survival of Earth - and, by extension, the entire species - and see the miners as ungrateful children unwilling to do what is necessary to keep society functioning.
  • Catharsis Factor: Guerilla offers this in spades. There's no feeling quite like bringing down an entire EDF base with only your trusty sledgehammer- and gratuitous amounts of explosives. Armageddon offers up a bit more, though not nearly as much due to it's linear storyline. You can't fault it for trying though, especially when it gives you the option of reassembling what you just blew up with the Nano Forge... so you can destroy it again.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: The Major League Gaming Playlist in Guerrilla. No Health Packs. No Remote Charges. No Rail Driver. No Handicapping. No Proximity Mines. No Vision Packs. Fox Only. Final Destination.
  • Complete Monster: The EDF officers in Guerrilla are varying shades of it. It's justified if you think about it: They're fighting for the very survival of their civilization, and are getting more and more desperate as their hold on Mars gets less and less secure.
    • Colonel Joseph Broga, is the commander of the artillery base in the Free Fire Zone, and ends up on the receiving end of a morally dodgy Pay Evil Unto Evil scene with a side of Cold-Blooded Torture in the mission Catch and Release.
    • Captain Halvar Gunnarsen was responsible for the deaths of over 300 miners in Chryse (we are not given many details, however), and attempts to trap workers during a protest in one of the industrial zones with a message over a PA system. They expect a peaceful protest, but he's given his troops orders to open fire.
    • General Bertram Roth is an incompetent liar if the Voice of Mars is to be believed, and is constantly assuring the citizens that, even as the Faction tears it's way towards the mass accelerator on Mount Vogel, the Red Faction is a crippled organization that is on it's last legs and in it's final death throes.
    • Admiral Lucius Kobel (who has been engineering the entire situation to take over from Roth) takes his bigass spaceship to Mars to put the Faction down via all out assault and orbital bombardment. The civilian population? ...expendable.
    • In general The EDF in the third game seem to go past Complete Monster and out the other side. They're so laughably evil that it's almost hard to take seriously.
    • Capek, from Red Faction 1. He performed horrifying nanotech experiments on the miners, turning them into disfigured monsters. He's also behind the the plague that is painfully killing off the civilians, but then anyone who's ever played a videogame before knows "mysterious plague" + "evil corporation" = "evil experiments" anyway.
  • Demonic Spiders: The railgun-wielding Merc Commanders in Red Faction, who could kill you with 1 shot. From behind a wall. Those darned Elite Guards, too, who are Made of Iron and dodge your shots like it's The Matrix.
  • Franchise Killer: People generally really enjoyed Guerilla. The franchise seemed quite revived. Then came Armageddon which abandoned the "rebels fighting oppression" recurring storyline for a generic Bug War plot, threw out the Wide Open Sandbox of its predecessor for a linear third-person shooter game, and the ability to destroy terrain was often a detriment as you'd destroy critical paths and need to rebuild them constantly with the nanoforge. The game wasn't really bad but it was certainly not what anyone was hoping for and it sold so poorly that THQ said they no longer have plans for more Red Faction games for now. Of course, they said that about Red Faction 2, as well....
  • Game Breaker: In online multiplayer, the eponymous sledgehammer of Guerrilla. There's a known bug in the game where the hammer's reach extends far beyond what it should ever be. Complaints filled the message board and the responses from the developers give only one concrete explanation for the phenomenon: They Just Didn't Care]. More charitably, online wasn't the main focus of development. Also Heal Packs: designed to keep you alive in the heat of combat by speeding up the rate you regenerate health, or as lot of players like to do, exploit its ability to make you invincible for its 30 second duration. There are also mods that include an assault rifle that shoots the explosions from singularity bombs.
  • Goddamned Bats: The Creepers in Armageddon, fast, weak vermin that leap around the caverns to try and slash at you up close.
  • Good Bad Bugs: In the Play Station 2 version of the original, using fine aim mode with the Shotgun caused all pellets to hit the same exact spot, turning the balanced shotgun into an overpowered sluggun.
  • Idiot Plot: Armageddon. After Hale's terrorists sabotage the terraformer, thus apparently ruining the surface environment of Mars for human inhabitation, nobody attempts to fix it. It's implied that the governing body of Mars is making too much of a profit from the citizenry's suffering in the underground to allow the repair to take place, but that seems to be a fairly weak attempt to plaster over the plot hole. This is especially infuriating when you remember that the protagonist, Darius, is capable of repairing almost anything man-made by pointing his hand at it, and this is exactly what he did at the end of the story. If it was that simple he could have turned around on the day of sabotage and solved the problem right there. The surface seems to have breathable air anyway given that all the missions on the Mars Surface are done without any character using any kind of respirator. The ease of this solution also makes the act of killing the Queen Alien largely unnecessary.
    • For that matter, why did Hale think he could tame the aliens, given that the only contact with them prior was an Ultor survey team that got completely obliterated? How did he tame that one alien, given that up to this point they'd done nothing but slaughter everything they came across? Why, as soon as that seal came off, did the aliens pour out and start murdering everything, when up to that point they'd apparently been perfectly fine underground? Hell, if Earth-like air is their one weakness, why did they not start massacring colonists when Ultor first colonized the planet?
  • Large Ham: Evil Overlord Victor Sopot in Red Faction 2, especially in his big speech that plays during the game's title menu.
  • Memetic Mutation: Mr. Toots.
  • Rooting for the Empire: The Earth Defense Force occasionally gets this. Partly because their brutality is so insanely overplayed that it skips Complete Monster territory and just becomes implausibly hilarious, and partly because they get cool uniforms.
  • "Stop Having Fun!" Guys: The online mode once the Major League Gaming Playlist was added.
  • That One Sidequest: Ever wonder why Oasis is the most-requested sector for Demolition Master walkthroughs? Getting the pro time on one Demolition Master there involves demolishing a watchtower by hitting it with a batted exploding barrel. You have, at most, two shots before the pro time elapses and both of them need to have the precision of guided missiles to actually knock the tower down. With no consistent way to control the variables, especially the flight path and direction of the barrels, this is a nigh impossible Luck-Based Mission. Combined with the fact it takes more than twice as long to reset it as it does to fail it and you have an ideal recipe for frustration.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In Armageddon, the concept of the Nanoforge is wonderfully realised in gameplay, but the plot almost entirely neglects it. The focus is entirely on the painfully unoriginal Bug War concept instead. The Nanoforge is literally the most scientifically advanced and ridiculously useful devise in the whole of creation, yet the Faction lets Darius run around with it. A power struggle between the new government, Darius and the cultists all over the Nanoforge and it's seemingly limitless power would have made for a much more compelling plot. It would also have been more in keeping with the primary theme of the series: government oppression and civil war.
  • Tough Act to Follow: You could argue that the popular Guerilla would be setting up any sequel for a disappointment, but frankly, considering Armageddon was the polar opposite of its predecessor in terms of game design this was probably not the way to endear fans.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Political?: The first game is a bit guilty of this. A group called Red Faction, fighting for the rights of workers, against a megacorporation more concerned with making profit than with the well-being of their employees, and which sports a particularly communist-looking symbol ? The implications are baffling.
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