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"Every mangled mass of steel has a story to tell."—The opening words of Stuntman: Ignition
Stuntman is a game about a movie stuntman who works on several films that sound incredibly similar in concept to real films. Each chapter focuses on a specific movie, which is split up into different scenes. During each scene, the player has to hit the stunts the Director (who sounds the same no matter what the film is) calls out, with each stunt being some kind of manouever like jumping off a ramp, scraping against cars/walls while sparks dramatically fly off, or driving under a falling pillar just in the nick of time. The more stunts the player hits, the higher rating they get for the film. Mess up too many, and it's a restart for you. Expect to be doing exactly that a lot in the later levels.
Also had a sequel, Stuntman: Ignition, which toned down the difficulty and featured a new scoring system.
- Artistic License- Film Production: All car chase scenes are apparently filmed in one go, starting all the way from the beginning if one mistake is made. The film companies must have impressive budgets, considering the number of times the average player will repeat every mission.
- Captain Crash: You'll be surprised how often you get "Hit the X" stunts...
- Car Fu: Both played straight and averted. If you need to tail someone, you can't hit them. However, you can be told to "Scrape along bus". The last stunt of the last scene of the last film in both games has you take out a flying object with your car.
- Car Meets House: One of the stunts in the first game's second film was jumping a house, clipping the chimney.
- Car Skiing: One of the more difficult stunts you can pull.
- Chase Scene: Duh.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Some of the directors are a bit crazy.
Now when people see this last stunt, I want their heads to explode, straight off their heads, so NASA calls someone and goes, "Hey, are you guys launching heads?" Literally explode! Now make it happen or I'll deport your family!
- Cool Car: Ignition had cars with guns, monster trucks and hovercraft. Not to mention a Bond Car.
- Continuity Nod: The second game's second film is A Whoopin' & A Hollerin' 2, the sequel to a film you do stunts for in the first game. Same with Never Kill Me Again from Ignition and Live Twice for Tomorrow from the original.
- Cowboy Cop: Stone in Overdrive
- Directionless Driver: Averted, with the GIANT ARROWS. Granted, you may miss a few, but they're usually there.
- Drives Like Crazy: And you get paid for it!
- Expy: Crown. Simon Crown.
- Follow That Car!
- Heroic Bloodshed: Blood Oath in the first game follows in the established tradition of John Woo films.
- Hollywood Police Driving Academy
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo - You'll recognise several of the movies as homages of famous films, often as a blend of several. From Dukes of Hazzard to Batman, and even Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (except with more car scenes, because otherwise you wouldn't have anything to do in it).
- Loads and Loads of Loading: A major complaint for the first game at least: The game is already hard enough as it is, but having to wait through long loading screens for every retry makes it aggravating.
- Inverted in Ignition. Load times are fairly short, and during the load, one of the bigger stunts is explained to you. When you restart, there is no loading screen at all.
- Ludicrous Speed
- Nintendo Hard: The first one, at least. Each level/movie had dozens of precise manouevers you had to pull off while adhering to a strict time limit; in some cases even missing one will fail you. And since there are no checkpoints, this means you have to start the whole level over.
- After finishing a level you get to see the completed "footage" of your stunts. Because of how demanding the game is, it makes for some amazing replays once you've finally completed a level.
- My Car Hates Me: Because of the realistic physics and clunky controls, sometimes the cars are a real bitch to steer. Particularly in the first game's ice-movie, which the second tops with a hovercraft. On ice.
- Racing the Train: And driving on it to boot.
- Ramp Jump: And how!
- Real Trailer, Fake Movie: Once you've completed all the scenes for a movie, you can see a trailer for it. They're actually pretty good.
- Some Dexterity Required: Due to the realistic physics modeling of the cars, you need to be very dexterous with the controls in order to have any semblance of "control" over the vehicle. The game's introductory levels make you practice various stunt manouevers (such as 180's, reverse 180s, drifting through turns, etc) over and over until you've mastered them. It's made mandatory because you'll be using those maneuvers for the entire game. See My Car Hates Me above.
- Suspiciously Similar Song: The background music for the Indiana Jones
ripoffHomage movie in the original game takes several well known themes from John Williams' score, mashes them together and files the serial numbers off.
- Trial and Error Gameplay: To some degree. In many scenes you're guaranteed to fail your first time through after having to make some wild-ass turn with only half a second's worth of warning.
- Under the Truck: You need to perform this stunt frequently in Ignition.
- Watch the Paint Job: Too many knocks and you'll fail the level. Either because they cost you too much time or because you totalled the car. Or maybe just because the director hates you.
- Wreaking Havok: At the time it was released, Stuntman was one of the first car games to make an attempt at realistic physics modeling. For example, the various internal parts of the car and their weight are accurately reflected in-game, such that the front end of the car tends to weigh more (because of the engine). This made the wrecks in the game particularly fun (and insane) to watch.
- The game actually has an "arena" feature where you can set up whatever stunts you like and go wild with the physics.