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File:Commandos2 big1 9949.jpg

Don't mess with these guys.


"Yes sir!"
"Coming right over, sir!"


Commandos is a Stealth-based strategy game franchise set in World War II, created by Spanish game developer Pyro Studios. In each game of the series, the player commands an elite squad composed of 6 to 8 Allied soldiers/spies and tries to succeed in Rule of Cool missions - ideally without getting caught by Nazis.

The games in the series so far :

  • Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines (1998)
  • Commandos: Beyond The Call Of Duty (1999 - a Standalone Expansion Pack for the original)
  • Commandos 2: Men of Courage (2001)
  • Commandos 3: Destination Berlin (2003)

Pyro also released a FPS based on the game called Commandos: Strike Force in 2006, but due to its Unexpected Gameplay Change, it's been dismissed by many fans of the series. (And now, Pyro themselves)

Tropes used in Commandos include:
  • AKA-47: In Behind Enemy Lines and Beyond the Call of Duty, the main handgun (a Colt M1911A1) of the commandos is named "Smith & Wesson W9" in the manual, and the other firearms are only designated as "rifle", "machine gun", and "sniper rifle". Totally averted in the latter games.
  • All Germans Are Nazis: Averted by Strike Force's spy. But we don't talk about him.
  • All There in the Manual: The names and short biographies of the commando members.
    • The characters' names are mentioned ingame in Destination Berlin. Prior to that, they are only mentioned by job title (Natasha excluded) or nicknames.
  • America Wins the War: Averted mostly. The Green Beret is Irish, the Sniper and Sapper are both English, the Marine is Australian, Natasha is Russian and the Spy and Thief are French. Only the Driver is American and he is removed from the third game. Strike Force's Green Beret, however...
  • Artistic License: Several cases. Men of Courage manual lampshades it with the following examples, explicitly written:
    • Artistic License Geography:
      • There are pinguins in North Pole in the game, but actually they live in South Pole
      • There are piranhas in Asian rivers in the game, but actually they only live in South America
      • The Kwai River bridge is made of wood in the game, but actually it was built in steel
      • The great Buddha statue seen in Burma is actually a Japanese monument
    • Artistic License History:
      • The Kwai River bridge has never been destroyed
  • Badass Army: The Commandos themselves.
  • Badass Normal: The Allied soldiers that turn up from Men Of Courage onwards. They can shoot from longer distances than the commandos and can take cover behind their backpacks.
  • Bear Trap: One of the weapons used by the Sapper in Behind Enemy Lines and Beyond the Call of Duty. They're used by the Driver in Men of Courage.
  • Big Damn Heroes
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Any knife, when thrown by Fins.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Nobody (commandos, allies or enemies) is never shown reloading, even when a member of the team is firing a limited ammunition weapon.
  • The Brute: There's a quite big Japanese mook who keeps an eye on Guiness in the River Kwai mission in Men of Courage.
    • There's a few German soldiers that are quite sizeable too.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Commandos: Strike Force is dismissed by Pyro.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Averted by the Spy and the Thief.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Wilson the castaway. Justified because he has spent years on an isolated island.
  • Cold Sniper: A German one shows up in the Stalingrad scenario of Commandos: Destination Berlin, in a Shout-Out to Enemy at the Gates.
    • Strike Force did the same thing, and went so far as to actually name the German sniper as "Major Konig".
    • Men of Courage has some of these throughout the game. They can spot your Commandos at any range even when they are crawling.
    • The Sniper of the team is himself described as one in the manuel.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard
  • Covers Always Lie: Commandos 3 cover features the Green Beret armed with a Thompson submachinegun, which is a weapon which doesn't appear at all in the game.
    • The backcover of Commandos 2 shows pictures of missions in which some important elements have changed when the games has been released (day missions shown as night missions, a commando member appears in a mission he/she isn't supposed to be according to the released product, a tank appears at Colditz, etc).
  • Crew of One: Averted in Men of Courage. The Driver can drive tanks, but the Sapper must be on-board to fire the cannon.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Particularly in the first game, the Commandos have very little abilities beyond their own field of excellence. later installments remedy this somewhat by making most Commandos able to knock out enemies and use weapons beyond their puny pistols.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: The opening cutscene of the "Saving Private Smith" mission (Men of Courage) ends with three commandos of the team (of four members) captured by the German after doing what the player usually does (sneaking and stabbing).
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Natasha's main ability.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Aside from the Spy (and Natasha in Men of courage), the rest of the commandos can do this in later games, only it's not as effective.
  • Easy Communication: A team of six men reacts immediatly to orders even if each of them are in totally different places of the map... A bit downplayed in Men of Courage and Destination Berlin, which features a few mission where some members of the team are stuck in a remote place (sometime in a jail, but not always) and can't be controlled until they are found by the other commandos.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Savo bunkers in Men of Courage.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: The main characters are members of the British Commandos. There is also one mission (in Men of Courage) which features the famous Ghurkas.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • The Nazi machine gunners in the first games.
    • Those Gestapo officers that can see immediately through the Spy and Natasha's disguise in Beyond the Call of Duty.
    • In Men of Courage, SS officers can do the same at any range as well as Wehrmacht officers at close range. The Destination Paris mod adds elite snipers and machine gunners with an increased range and damages.
    • The paratroopers are able to unmask the Spy in Destination Berlin.
  • Escort Mission: Many of them.
  • Fog of War: Notably averted; the Commandos can see what's happening all over the outdoor map, although this typically shouldn't be possible.
  • Forced Tutorial: Only in Men of Courage. Behind Enemy Lines and Beyond The Call of Duty feature tutorial as missions totally separated from the campaign, and Destination Berlin tutorial is an independant campaign.
  • Freak-Out: Very rarely and mostly in the earlier maps, if you kill 2-3 members of a patrol the remaining one will run awkwardly to the end of the map and never be seen again.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: In one level of Destination Berlin, the Green Beret, the Sniper and the Sapper have been captured and taken to Berlin. The level begins with the Green Beret locked in a cell with a guard, who turns his back on a huge, muscular, unrestrained and incredibly angry Irishman with a penchant for beating the crap out of everyone who pisses him off.
  • Heal Thyself: The medkits in every game. One of your commandos (primarily the Driver, but the Sniper of Spy if he's not present) is issued with a medical kit with limited uses in Behind Enemy Lines and Beyond The Call Of Duty. Med kits are more abudant in later games, but they are automatically used in Destination Berlin. Army rations are also available in Men Of Courage.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: The lesser healing item of Men Of Courage is a sealed can of food. It heals half of the commando health.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal:
    • Averted in Beyond Enemy Lines and Beyond the Call of Duty. The commandos don't have a true inventory, but their actions menu is shaped like a backpack (with a gun, a knife, etc)
    • The commandos of Men of Courage and Destination Berlin have a real inventory (of limited size) which can be filled freely. The player can put in the inventory of a commando things like ten identical rifles with a lot of ammunitions, ten handgrenades, an inflatable boat, ten Army ration cans, and ten German/Japanese uniforms. Also, with the exception of the Sapper (whose uniform features several pouches), the Sniper, and Natasha (both are shown with the sniper rifle on their back if they have one), no commando have clothes with apparent pouches or backpack
  • Imperial Japan: In Men of Courage.
  • Instant Death Bullet: The rifle and sniper rifle both kill with one shot. Averted with the pistol, which takes three shots to kill someone, and the assault rifle from Destination Berlin, which takes two.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: In Men of Courage and Destination Berlin.
  • Ironic Nickname: Most of the characters have fairly descriptive nicknames: the explosive specialist is Inferno, the uncanny master of disguises is Spooky, the guy who swam across the English channel is Fins... and then, there's Tiny, who is simply huge. Averted in Destination Berlin where his nickname is Butcher[1].
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: The Nazis try this on your men when they've been captured in Men Of Courage. They're not exactly successful.
  • Jack O'Hara Is About To Shoot You: The covers for Behind Enemy Lines and Beyond The Call Of Duty.
  • Made of Explodium: In Behind the Enemy Lines and Beyond the Call of Duty every building and vehicle can be taken out with a single grenade or an oil barrel. Hell, even a few pistol shots can destroy cars and trucks.
  • Manual Misprint: Men of Courage manual says that the Springfield M1903 sniper rifle has unlimited ammunitions (in contrary to the German and Japanese sniper rifles). It is wrong.
  • The Mentor: Although the Lt. Dudley Clark is only mentioned ingame in the intro as the founder of the Commandos, Colonel Montague Smith fills The Mentor role more accurately.
  • Nazi Germany
  • Nintendo Hard
  • No-Gear Level: Saving Private Smith and White Death in Men Of Courage and the last level of the first campaign in Destination Berlin, which happens to be in Berlin.
  • No Peripheral Vision: In Men of Courage and Destination Berlin, the Green Beret, the Sniper, and the Thief are totally invisible if they are atop of a pole or go hanging to telegraphic wires (for the Green Beret and the Thief). The latter is even a very useful tactic of infiltration.
  • Non-Action Guy: Captain Mc Rae and the German resistance members in Behind Enemy Lines, Dragisa Skopje in Beyond The Call Of Duty and Wilson and Whiskey in Men Of Courage. Justified in most cases as, apart from Wilson and Whiskey, the rest are prisoners being rescued.
  • One Size Fits All: In Men Of Courage and Destination Berlin, every commando can wear any enemy uniform taken on a private. It will fit them perfectly, even if the characters don't have the same weight/height at all.
  • One-Woman Wail: Some themes of Men of Courage OST, especially a few of the underwater areas.
  • Pacifist Run: Possible from Beyond The Call Of Duty onwards. In fact, Men Of Courage encourages this by giving more merit points for knocking out and tying up as many enemies as possible. The first (non-tutorial) mission of Men Of Courage is even a forced Pacifist Run, it is a night-infiltration mission, where there isn't a single weapon to find in the map, and the only two commandos available (Natasha and Lupin) doesn't have any capacity which allow them to tie up any enemy (required to steal weapons).
  • Rare Guns: The StG44 appears in Destination Berlin, even during the "Stalingrad" campaign (set before the invention of this weapon).
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: At least everyone knows how to use a gun... most of the time.
  • Reading the Enemy's Mail: The plot of the three first missions of Men of Courage revolves around the Enigma machine.
  • Redshirt Army: Averted by the Allied soldiers and Ghurkas in Men Of Courage and Destination Berlin. They're pretty useful in a straight fight and in setting up ambushes.
  • Remixed Level:
    • In the first game, there is a level that takes place during Operation Market Garden. The first time, the protagonists must prevent the Germans from destroying the bridge. The next time, they must destroy the very same bridge. The historical irony is justified by the fact that Operation Market Garden didn't really go that well for the Allies and they had to destroy captured bridges to prevent the Germans from taking advantage of them.
    • Two bonus missions of Men of Courage are a Remixed Level of the first tutorial mission.
    • Several new missions added by the Destination Paris mod are Remixed Level of the main campaign.
  • Save Scumming: You'll need it.
  • Scenery Porn: The levels set in Europe have a certain drab, grey appeal, but then you see the sunny shores of Savo Island, with its crystal blue waters and lush tropical jungle, and you wonder why the series had to return to Europe at all...
  • Scenery Gorn: The ruined Normandy town of Men of Courage and Stalingrad in Destination Berlin.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: Some bonus missions of Men of Courage are harder than the main campaign. Some others are a cakewalk.
  • Selective Historical Armoury: The American soldiers use British weapons, at least the Japanese do use correct weapons.
    • Actually, that's only the rifles. They also use Colt 1911s (As do the Commandos, oddly). However, it's not stated explicitly that they are American soldiers.
    • More egregrious is the complete lack of any SMG apart from the MP40 (and the Grease Gun in the original) - the Commandos were famed for using Thompsons, to the extent it featured on their insignia.
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: While the pistol and submachine guns actually have a fairly realistic maximum range, the rifle and sniper rifle's maximum range have been somewhat nerfed for balance reasons. For some reason, regular allied soldiers can shoot further with the rifle than the commandos can.
  • Shout-Out: Lots, especially to movies — note in particular "Bridge Over the River Kwai" from Men of Courage, involving the demolition of a (different) bridge over said river, and the rescue of "Colonel Guiness" (Alec Guiness played Colonel Nicholson in the movie).
  • Simultaneous Warning and Action: On spotting a Commando, the enemies will tell them to halt. Stopping may buy the player a few seconds, just enough to resolve the situation by killing the guards with other Commandos. If left on their own devices, the enemies will just open fire on the caught Commando. This is actually justified - the German soldiers had orders to kill any caught commandos immediately, even if they tried to surrender.
  • Sniper Duel: The first mission in Destination Berlin. It is a Shout-Out to Enemy at the Gates.
  • Snow Means Death: In the White Death mission in Men Of Courage, leaving your men outdoors for too long without arctic clothing for too long will result in death by exposure. Justified in that it's set somewhere in the Arctic circle.
  • Sprite Polygon Mix: Commandos 2 and Commandos 3 have 3D indoor areas with a fully rotatable view; the large outdoor maps, however, appear in 2D isometric view (or, more precisely, four isometric views each; the player can switch between the four cardinal directions for different views).
  • Stealth Run: Achieving one in a mission grants more merit points at the score screen of the mission in Men of Courage.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Several missions involve real (or at least realistic) German high technology, usually to be stolen or destroyed.
    • Beyond Enemy Lines ends with a mission which backstory involves stopping the German nuclear weapon program. The game also features two missions which requires to destroy some V2 rockets
    • Beyond the Call of Duty features a mission which require to steal a German radar, one mission which require to destroy a big cannon, and one where the player has to destroy some German jet aircrafts
  • Tap on the Head: The punch (or kick in the Thief's case) knocks out any enemy in one blow. Though when it's first introduced as an ability for the Green Beret in Beyond The Call Of Duty, it will only work from behind on an enemy that hasn't already spotted you.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • The German patrols will happily keep following the exact same route, even if one of them dies every time at the exact same spot.
    • Enemies are extremely careless when they see a corpse - they just blindly rush towards it, being extremely easy to ambush in the process. It is extremely easy to set up Schmuck Baits.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Natasha has become an accomplished sniper between Beyond the Call of Duty and Men of courage. Applies to the others as well - almost everyone in the team has learned some barehanded combat, driving cars, swimming and using clever distractions, not to mention serious rifle skills.
  • Those Wacky Nazis
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Men of Courage first bonus mission is not a stealth infiltration mission at all, but a timed race with a motorboat inside a circuit delimited by seamines.
  • Universal Ammunition: The Sniper can load his Springfield rifle (7,62mm in Real Life) with ammunitions looted from German (7,92mm) and Japanese (6,5mm) snipers.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Played straight in Behind Enemy Lines and Beyond The Call Of Duty, averted in Men Of Courage onwards (except for the German grenaders, who can be stripped from their uniform and gun but not their grenades) where the commandos can strip disabled/killed enemy soldiers of their weapons, and even steal their uniforms for temporary disguises (or permanent disguises, in the case of the Spy).
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: There is a quite long video on YouTube about how to feed Japanese prisoners to the crocodiles. And that's only one of many possibilities.
  • We Cannot Go on Without You: Lose any of your commandos and it's mission failed.
  • You Shall Not Pass: A few missions from Men Of Courage and Destination Berlin involve defending your position from hordes and hordes of incoming enemies.
  • Zerg Rush: One of the bonus missions in Men of Courage involves hordes of German soldiers swarming onto your position. For many, it's That One Level.
  1. Interesting case of Woolseyism: in the French edition of the games, he is nicknamed "Butcher" in the whole series