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Hey, man, that run was bullshit. But in a good way.—Bam Margera
Tony Hawk's Underground (commonly abbreviated as THUG) is a short series of two games that came between the classic THPS games and the rest of the series. It was the first in the series to feature an actual storyline, and introduced the ability to get off your board and jump all over shit.
The first THUG was released for the PS2, Game Cube, X Box and GBA, and followed the player character as they rise to stardom with their childhood friend, Eric Sparrow, then have a bitter falling out after Eric starts becoming jealous as the player character starts to leave Sparrow in his dust, before Eric gets drunk and hijacks a tank. It's funny, but still quite a bit Darker and Edgier and action-oriented than the rest of the series. A PC port also exists if you're Australian.
The second game, Tony Hawk's Underground 2: World Destruction Tour, focuses on the titular World Destruction Tour, which is totally not similar to Jackass. The celeb skaters (Which are largely made up of people involved with Jackass) are divided into two teams and do dangerous and stupid stunts for points. The player character in this game takes a back seat to celebrity slapstick shenanigans as the tour takes him or her all across the world, to 4 continents in total.
This sub-series provides examples of:
- The Alleged Car: One goal in the New York level of Underground has the player intentionally wrecking an old car so its owner can use the insurance money to buy new shoes.
- All There in the Manual: The official BradyGames guide has an intro which states that Underground 2 takes place one year after the first game, and confirms the protagonist being the same in both games. It also explains that them and the other pros are feeling burnt-out from the pro scene, which is why Tony and Bam create the World Destruction Tour.
- Big Bad Friend: Eric Sparrow becomes this after the Hawaii level in Underground.
- Big Eater: Todd. When the player first meets him, he says he has to finish some hamburgers before he goes out to eat.
- Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: You can play as Bigfoot in Underground 2.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: When arriving in New Orleans in Underground 2, Tony says this:
"Another town, another party. And ain't no party bigger than Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Drunks, idiots, and drunk idiots."
- Butt Monkey: Eric Sparrow, and to a lesser extent, Bob Burnquist in 2. The same game also gives us Nigel Beaverhausen.
- Canada, Eh?: Vancouver, where Slam City Jam is held in the first game. There's even a hockey rink in that level. The second game has the Canada level from THPS3 as one of the levels in Classic Mode, complete with snow and pine trees.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Eric Sparrow's primary characteristic in Underground.
- Continuity Nod
- In the player character's room in Underground, there's a poster of Daisy on the wall, a skater from Pro Skater 4. There's also a crude mockup version of her without her most memorable characteristic in the "Pre-Made Custom Skaters" section.
- Ollie the Bum makes his final appearance in the series towards the beginning of Underground, although he looks and sounds much less comedic and much more like a cracked-out homeless person - and he's no longer "Magic".
- Eric Sparrow is one of the pro skaters on Bam's team in Underground 2, but he doesn't play a major role. He's treated as the Butt Monkey throughout the game, with the player character and Sparrow switching teams for a level at one point. While the switch is in place, Hawk messages you saying that they need you back on the team because Sparrow just bailed and took out a brass band in the process (possibly killing the tuba player).
- Like in the first game, the player is chosen to do a difficult trick over a helicopter in the New Orleans level. The BradyGames guide even references it.
- Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: When Underground 2 is installed on a Windows Vista or 7 computer, the games browser identifies it as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2.
- Demoted to Extra: The player character in Underground 2. While they were the main focus of the first game, they take a backseat to Tony and Bam's antics in the second. They rarely speak in cutscenes and have almost no interaction with anyone, including Eric, despite their rivalry having a major role in the plot of Underground.
- Establishing Character Moment: Eric appears to be a normal friend after we're first introduced to him, but the earliest sign that he's not what he seems is when he sets a drug dealer's car on fire, all the while laughing maniacally.
- Him "accidentally" forgetting to register you for the Tampa AM shows how much of a backstabber he'll end up becoming.
- Face Heel Turn: Eric Sparrow.
- Fat Bastard: Todd, the manager of your team from the first game. A sleazeball who's willing to let you rot in a Moscow jail cell to avoid paying $700,000 in damages from a stunt Eric framed you for.
- Five-Man Band: Tony's team in THUG 2
- Flanderization: Bam Margera is, well... Bam Margera, only turned Up to Eleven.
Bam: "Tanks. Oh, tanks. Look at these tanks.
[Later] It's so good, we can't go skating now, look at these tanks."
- Fun with Acronyms: THUG. Followed by the perplexing THAW with American Wasteland.
- Funny Foreigner: Nigel Beaverhausen, a British video producer and a constant thorn in the skaters' side throughout Underground 2.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- There's a sign in the Hawaii level in Underground that says "Yummy Weiners" and has a boy with a peculiar-looking hot dog in his mouth.
- There's a porn movie theater in the Los Angeles level of the third game (recreated in Underground 2). If you couldn't guess it by the ambiguous movie titles on the marquee, the names of the gaps that involve it leave no shadow of doubt.
- Green Hill Zone: New Jersey in the first game and the remake of Warehouse in Underground 2.
- Groin Attack: At the end of the Boston level, Hawk's team have to "cut one loose" by having the team play Russian Roulette with a tennis ball launcher aimed right at the skaters' crotches. Bob Burnquist ends up being the unlucky victim.
- Handicapped Badass: Paulie "Wheels of Fury" Ryan, who, despite being in a wheelchair and having casts all over most of his body, is still willing to kick and insult the player character.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: The dialogue in the first THUG is cleverly written to avoid using the character's name but still seem fluid. In the second game, the player character is so unimportant to the story it doesn't really come up.
- Idiot Ball: Eric keeps screwing the player character over at every single opportunity, yet the player character keeps forgiving him and asking him for help. It isn't until Eric frames the player character for Grand Theft Tank and massive property damage, leaving them stranded in Moscow without a passport that they finally take the hint.
- Interface Spoiler: Underground 2 has three:
- The intro features random cutscenes from the game, including Bob Burnquist being kicked off of Team Hawk.
- The main menu is on the "Wheel of Loogies", which won't be introduced for quite a while after the game starts.
- The credits video can be accessed at any time, but it features spoilers about the plot and objectives.
- Jerkass: Eric in the original Underground. Supposedly your character's closest friend and skating buddy, he steals their chance at glory when the opportunity arises and is willing to stoop to newfound lows in order to ruin the player character's reputation.
- Paulie from Underground 2 isn't too likable either, being the most ill-tempered member of the tour and taking every opportunity to act like a jerk to anyone nearby.
- Karma Houdini: Eric in Underground, who, after several attempts to get the player kicked off the team, finally succeeds in the Moscow level when he runs off after crashing a tank into a government building and leaving the player locked inside to take the blame. He continues on gaining fame and money while the player has to work their way back home after being abandoned by the skate team. Granted, the player does recover from this and goes on to make a successful series of skating videos and even punch out Eric on the second playthrough of the final challenge, but he never really does pay for the tank incident by the end.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: Fortunately, the second game fixes this by including him on the losing side of the tour (even when he's temporarily swapped with the player to Team Hawk) and constantly getting humiliated until he's eventually shipped off when it was time to cut one of the skaters loose. Judging by his treatment from both fellow skaters and fans, his pro skating career is now a complete joke.
- Next Sunday AD: The game is set in 2004, a year after the game was released. References to Spring Break in the Tampa level indicate that the game begins around March of 2004.
- No Final Boss for You: At the end of the first game, Eric Sparrow turns up and taunts the player character with the tape of their Crowning Moment of Awesome from earlier in the game, which only Eric and the main character were witnesses to, before challenging the player to follow Eric's run across the entirety of the New Jersey level, whilst Eric is throwing things at you. Play through the game a second time, and as Eric pulls out the tape and starts taunting the main character, they just knock his lights out and take the tape.
- No Plot, No Problem: Averted, with one of the most developed plots that had so far ever been seen in a sports-oriented game, about two friends slowly growing to hate each other as each follows a different path to stardom. Many later games in the series have taken to including a solid story.
- Nostalgia Level: Several courses from the first three games are unlockable (the first THUG had only three levels from the second game, while the Classic Mode of THUG2 includes levels mainly from the first and third games, with only Philadelphia from THPS2). In addition, the Training area where you start Story Mode is a hi-res version of the old Warehouse level, with an extra area added.
- An interesting example of a Nostalgia Area exists in the original THUG: The Tampa stage is an average-sized stage with a skate park towards the center. The skate park by itself was originally one of the exclusive levels to the Xbox version of THPS2, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2X.
- Only in It For the Money: Eric Sparrow's main reason for wanting to be a pro skater - and he will lie, cheat and steal just so that he can become rich and famous.
- Played with in the second game. The losing team of the World Destruction Tour has to foot the bill for all damages caused by both teams during the contest, and Nigel Beaverhausen (Writer-Producer-Director) tries to persuade them to let him film and release the footage of the tour, before resorting to doing it without their permission. Both Hawk and Margera agree to let Beaverhausen release the footage after he offers to foot the bill, once they find out the bill is $21,000,000 so far (they are in New Orleans when they make this agreement, with still one leg of the tour to go).
- Picked Last: In the sequel, before the World Destruction Tour starts, Tony and Bam Margera start picking their team members. Since the player is the least experienced of the pros they got (Bam even calls you a noob), the player is left as a last pick for Bam along with Paulie "Wheels of Fury" Ryan, a 10-year-old kid in a full-body cast riding a motor-powered wheelchair, who Bam picks over the player. Tony is forced to take the player in and prove Bam wrong for passing you up.
- Planet Heck: The Kiss concert in Underground.
- Product Placement: Both from skating brands and non-skating brands, up to and including small McDonald's restaurants in the Manhattan and New Orleans levels.
- Rags to Riches: The player character and Eric both make it out of their rough neighborhood and follow their dream, but the paths they take to get to and stay at the top quickly become very different.
- Retraux: One of the unlockable skaters in Underground 2 is Tony Hawk as he was depicted in Pro Skater 1, complete with pixelated textures.
- Skate Heaven Is a Place on Earth: Naturally.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: In Underground 2, your player character will be stripped to their underwear and get pelted with live mouse-traps in the Australia level, regardless of their gender.
- The Smurfette Principle: If the player character is female, she will be the only prominent female character in Underground 2.
- Smug Snake: Eric Sparrow.
- Stuff Blowing Up: The end of the second game, so very much. It can effectively be summed up as something like this...
Bam: "Wow, Skatopia... LET'S BLOW IT UP!"
- Supporting Protagonist: The player character in Underground 2.
- The Other Darrin: Possible - The first game forced all created skaters to use the same voice (Although it changed depending on the gender) in the story mode; whilst the second game (despite it being the same character) allowed the player to choose from a number of voices, including the voice from the previous game.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: Every level in the first game has at least one driving mission. After it's completed, the player can drive the car whenever he wants.
- Updated Rerelease: Underground 2's PSP port, Underground 2: Remix, includes four new levels. These levels eventually were ported over to American Wasteland (although Atlanta is exclusive to the Collector's Edition of the game).
- Villainous Breakdown: Eric has an epic one in the first game's ending. After the Player Character beats him in the neighborhood skate-off, he launches into a furious tirade while the player just walks away with the tape.
Eric: "I'm still better than you! You got lucky, you little punk! Slam City Jam and Tampa were nothing but luck, you little bitch! Get back here! You ain't nothing! I know I could kick your ass!"
- We Used to Be Friends: By the end of the first game; after all the shit that Eric pulled you through, you've pretty much had it with him and leave with the tape after beating his line (or knock his lights out in the alternate ending).
You own the underground.