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"Pardon my past discourtesies… I will forget the past… I no longer care about the indignation I have suffered!"—Dauragon Cross Mikado as he prepares to fight Kou, Sion and Volt on board the Galeos.
It's going to be a long night for a bar so empty.
The Bouncer focuses on one really bad night at a bar called Fate. Despite being a slow place, it has three bouncers: Sion Barzahd, Koh Leifoh, and Volt Kreuger. On the night of Sion's one-year anniversary as a bouncer, a team of Ninjas busts in, out to kidnap their friend, Dominique Cross. When they make off with her, the three chase after her, to have a showdown that the bouncers find is way out of their league.
The game has somewhat of a cult status with PS2 gamers due to the story and the characters even though it didn't sell much to be in the top 10 games sold in the early 2000s.
This game has examples of:
- All There in the Manual: Much of the bouncer's backstories is told through short dialogues found in the loading screens between stages. If one is not paying attention, or is using a system that loads quickly, then expect to miss a lot of what the heck is going on.
- Ax Crazy: Mugetsu.
- Big Bad: Dauragon, CEO of Mikado.
- Body Horror: Sion's female buddy, Kaldea, is actually the same age as him, but genetic tampering by Mikado left her looking both 15 years older than him and able to turn into a panther.
- Chained by Fashion: Sion has a bunch of chains going on that serve no practical purpose. Dauragon also has one, that he uses to make things "fair" for you.
- Dance Battler: Echidna.
- Dark Action Girl: Again, Echidna.
- Defector From Decadence: Volt, former bodyguard with the Mikado corporation.
- Elite Mooks: For every Mook type, there's usually an elite version that has more health, is more aggressive with it's attacks, and does more damage than the regulars.
- Escort Mission: A particularly frustrating one part-way through the game. This game plays this trope painfully straight, and makes a mission that should be a breeze, an absolute nightmare. This is also one of the longest stages yet. See Luck-Based Mission and Too Dumb to Live.
- Expy: Nomura recycled much of Sion's design for Sora.
- Before that, Sion was considered by some to be an expy of 17-year old, brown-haired, blue-eyed, sullen Final Fantasy VIII hero Squall Leonhart.
- Volt bears a resemblance to Zell Dincht, and Koh to Laguna Loire.
- Young Kaldea bears a striking resemblance to Rinoa Heartilly.
- And then Dominique has Selphie Tilmitt's green eyes and looped hairstyle.
- Kou's body tattoos and hairstyle shows up years later as Sho Minamimoto
- Fragile Speedster: Koh. He also gets more techniques to make up for his lack of power.
- Fragile only in the sense of power, however. He actually has the highest defense out of the three bouncers.
- Guide Dang It: Sion's bonus fight against his master, which requires you to make sure to not use him in certain battles. Technically, Koh's bonus fight also counts, but since the conditions are almost identical (the main difference being selecting Koh to fight against Dauragon), it's much easier to find that one.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: There are a couple fights that are exceedingly hard to win the first time you play. They become much easier after a few runs, though.
- I Am Not Left-Handed: Dauragon chains up his right arm for his first fight against you, limiting his power and techniques. Somewhat.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Sion and Dominique. Though Volt's studded leather jacket with a Cactaur on the back might be up there.
- Law Enforcement, Inc.: Mikado's own security forces, including a unit of ninja commandos.
- Large Ham: "Koh Leifoh, Superspy!" To be fair, Steve Blum voiced him.
- Mugetsu as well. To be fair, R. Martin Klien voiced him.
- Loading Screen: These give flashbacks to give background on the bouncer you've most recently selected.
- And a good condition disc can load so quickly you never manage to read it all.
- Luck-Based Mission: Unless it's not your first run through, Dominique's Escort Mission is nothing but this. How far you get is entirely dependent on how how suicidal she's feeling this particular go around.
- Mega Corp: The Mikado Corporation.
- Mighty Glacier: Volt. His power also is meant to compensate for his smaller move pool.
- The Mole: Koh is actually a spy that was sent to Fate to keep tabs on Dominique. While his goals throughout the game align with the other two, he's feeding info to his superiors the whole time and is ready to act counter to the other bouncers' wishes if need be.
- Obvious Beta: Additional stages and the ability to use Improvised Weapons were meant to utilized in the game, but were cut shortly before release. The game was also pretty much just a test to tweak and finalize a usable graphics engine for Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy X.
- New Game+: Carries over all the power-ups bought. Unfortunately, Dauragon gets powered up based on your stats, and gets a final form if you've run through enough times.
- Ninja: The Mikado Special Forces unit led by Mugetsu. They just fight via unarmed combat.
- Power Trio:
- Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: A LOT, from awesome ones like:
Sion: You're not getting paid enough to die! Now get out of my way!
- To the more simplistic ones like:
Sion: I don't think so!
- Psycho for Hire: Mugetsu, emphasis on the "psycho" part.
- Punch Clock Villain: Hell, some of the mooks that you fight are actual rent-a-cops.
- Ragdoll Physics: Hard to believe, but a game this old does indeed have them. Although it is somewhat goofy.
- Shapeshifting: Kaldea can change into the form of a surreal-looking black panther.
- Shirtless Scene: You control three bouncers, with one shirt between them. And Sion, the one with a shirt, wears it half-open. Volt leaves his jacket open, and Koh wears just an open vest. Dauragon eventually drops his coat and the top half of his overalls, as well.
- Spy Catsuit: Worn by all of Mikado's ninja mooks. And Mugetsu.
- This Is Unforgivable!: Sion says this to Dauragon before the final battle.
- Stripperific: Echidna's outfit.
- Too Dumb to Live: Dominique in her Escort Mission. She will gladly stand in between you and a hostile robot that's trying to kill you, and eat an attack that takes away half of her health... then stand right back up and do it again.
- Tomato Surprise: Dominique is actually a Robot Girl Dauragon built based on his Dead Little Sister.
- Traintop Battle: The location of your first fight with Echidna
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: If, during the sequence when the three are forcably separated by Dauragon, you follow Koh's path, you mostly end up trying to pass as a Mook while wandering the Mikado building.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Kaldea, who became an unfortunate victim to Mikado's experimentation, was a friend of Sion's in their youth. Depending on who is used in which battles, it's possible that Sion won't ever learn it's her.
- White-Haired Pretty Boy: Subverted. The only white haired character is a robot with a red eye and a clawed whip hand.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: The credits show a montage of a forever-young Dominique visiting the graves of her friends from Fate.
- Zipperiffic: Tetsuya Nomura did the character design. Do the math.