Dead to Rights

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
I'm Jack Slate, bitch!
Jack Slate

A series of third-person shooter games, published by Namco and developed by Namco HomeTek that combined (or tried to) gunplay and hand-to-hand combat.

The first game from 2002 follows the story of Jack Slate, a tough-as-nails Cowboy Cop with a canine companion, who delves deeply into Grant City's criminal underbelly after his father's murder and his subsequent arrest for killing the guy who did it (he was framed). What follows is a mad-cap adventure filled with snark as Jack fights his way through an entirely corrupt system full of strange, quirky bosses.

The next installment in the series came out in 2005, but despite bearing the name Dead To Rights II, it was actually a Prequel. Shorty thereafter Dead to Rights: Reckoning, a prequel to the prequel, was released for the PSP.

The franchise received an obligatory Darker and Edgier Continuity Reboot in the form of Dead To Rights: Retribution by Volatile Games in 2010, and, aside from a couple of Mythology Gags, it features a completely different story from the original.

The Characters page.

Tropes used in Dead to Rights include:
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Hennessy and Pinnacle. Pinnacle deserves special mention for essentially being a cross between the Kingpin and an evil version of Mike Haggar.
  • Awesome McCoolname: One of the end-level bosses is named Longshoreman X.
    • Hello? Jack Slate anyone?
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The first game has Mayor Pinnacle, Prince Fahook, and Police Chief Hennessy as the head figures in the conspiracy behind the death of Jack's father and the demise of pretty much every single one of Jack's allies over the course of the game. All three are in cahoots, but have their own separate agendas.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Retribution, oh so very much. The original was mostly Bloodless Carnage and Jack's takedowns while still violent are more designed to imitate the graceful gunplay of John Woo movies. Retribution's takedowns on the other hand are downright sadistic, from Jack shooting a guy's kneecaps and then executing him after he begs for his life to Shadow mauling an enemy violently and ripping off his scrotum. Blood and gore is anywhere. Case in point: a still of Jack vaporizing a thug's face with a gunshot is the brightness adjustment screen
  • Bond One-Liner: Jack tries to use these in the original games, usually with less then stellar results.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Jack can grab a man to use as a shield. Okay, morally questionable, but within the boundaries of 1980s action movie logic. Unfortunately, there's no "knock out the bad guy" or "handcuff the bad guy" option. Instead of releasing them, Jack just casually shoots them in the back of the head.
    • Retribution lets him cuff perps and use them as mobile shields, then kick them away. Oddly enough, if they don't die, the cuffs disappear and they try to beat Jack up hand-to-hand.
  • Bullfight Boss: In the original, Hennessy's first phase has him charge you with an electrified riot shield.
  • Camera Screw: The camera in the original game tends to point at the least useful position after a cutscene, especially bad when said cutscene is immediately followed by a shooting segment.
  • Canine Companion: Shadow. In the original game, he wasn't a "partner" so much as a special move you could activate to instantly kill a bad guy and retrieve his gun. In Dead To Rights: Retribution, Shadow follows you around during fights and can sneak around to rip into enemies.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Inverted in the first game, where Jack's allies are betraying him left and right.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: F-bombs are all over the place in Retribution.
  • Creepy Twins: A pair of them in the original game as part of a timed boss fight.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Averted in the first game. A building that Jack is in is set on fire at one point, and he has to leave before the air gets too hot to breathe.
  • Cool Plane: Fahook has a bar, a discotheque, a pool and a harem room full of attack prostitutes on his cargo plane. Does this guy even own a house or does he just live in the plane?
  • Cowboy Cop: Jack Slate don't play by the rules, bitch.
    • Oddly enough, in all of the GCPD, he's probably the most honest and uncorrupted cop of them all as well.
  • Da Chief: Capt. Inness in Retribution.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jack quips a lot. Whether or not any of his flippant remarks are actually funny is another matter.
  • Disney Villain Death: Redwater in Retribution.
    • Earlier, in the PSP game Reckoning, the final boss ( the so-called female hostage), tries to escape from Slate by diving into the ocean from a lethal height, not to mention the jagged rocks below the cliff.
  • Disposable Woman: Every female character in the first game. One character, an Action Girl hitwoman, gets unceremoniously back-stabbed exactly one chapter after she was introduced, and at the end of your Escort Mission for her, too. Two others betray Jack out of desperation only to be killed soon after in rather-too-convenient examples of Karmic Death. The game took fridging to a whole new level.
    • There's also Ruby in the second game, and the unnamed kidnapped girl in Reckoning.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: The purpose of the Stripper minigame of the first game is for Jack's stripper friend to distract guards so that he can sneak into the building without anyone noticing.
  • Escort Mission: One in the original game, way to many in Retribution
  • Excuse Plot: In contrast to the first game, which had an actual plot with various twists and developments, the second game has essentially an Arcade Game plot which is essentially "Go kill Boss A, who tells you about Boss B. Go kill Boss B, who tells you about Boss C. Etc, until you get to the final boss." The game even lampshades this, with the Judge whose death kicks off the plot being named Judge MacGuffin.
  • Fan Service: The Stripper minigame.
  • Fauxreigner: Jack theorizes that Fat Chow isn't even actually Asian—though the fact that he can't tell just by looking at the guy casts a little doubt on the assertion.
  • Groin Attack: Shadow is way too fond of biting people's crotches.
  • Hot-Blooded: Jack in Retribution.
  • Hypocrite: The plot in Retribution focuses on stopping G.A.C., again, but this time because they've taken on the roles of judge, jury, and executioner. However, Jack does the same exact thing. Of all the enemies in the game, you only arrest one. The rest you just blatantly kill while being a complete asshole. Including shooting surrendering enemies. Even the Bloodier and Gorier entry notes that Jack's just murdering his enemies in the most sadistic ways possible. It's honestly surprising that G.A.C. didn't recruit Jack. Or that he's not the villain of the game.
  • I Lied: Jack pulls this on Julian Temple in Retribution, after promising to let him walk if he revealed where Redwater was hiding.
  • Informed Attribute: Multiple characters in Retribution refer to Jack as "a good cop." One assumes they've never actually seen Jack on the job.
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner: In Retribution Jack says this about GAC, as an example of why they clearly are evil. Jack himself, however, also qualifies.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: Many characters feature a thick foreign accent for no reason and not a single one is believable. Fat Chow's "Jack Suraate!" and Diggs' Cockney accent aside, the prison gym seems to be an ethnic melting pot.
  • Let's Play: One done of the first game by Slowbeef and Diabetus of Retsupurae, where the Narm is consistently lampshaded and Shadow is portrayed as a Memetic Badass for his status as a living Swiss Army Weapon.
  • MacGuffin: Dead to Rights 2 starts with Jack trying to rescue Judge Macguffin. Later on he tries to find Macguffin's "files" which contain evidence that would implicate certain city officials. Yes, you're actually trying to find Macguffin's Macguffin.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Surprisingly averted. There are three named female characters in the game, they all die.
  • Mighty Glacier: The third last boss of the original game ( Mayor Pinnacle) might as well be the Kingpin from Marvel Comics. He's an absurdly huge man in a nice suit who can pound you into the dust. The final boss is actually a letdown after that.
  • Monster Clown: In the original game, Jack is attacked by soldiers wearing clown masks, in a graveyard. Why, yes, it was a strange game.
    • In Retribution, the Triads have an inexplicable clown motif as well - possibly because they take the place of the Clowns from the original thematically.
  • Mood Whiplash: The original game was very odd. Betrayal and death follow Jack around, and he even tries to angst a few times, but he's right back to the irreverent quips like nothing happened moments later.
  • Mooks: Nearly all enemies in the games come in huge hordes.
  • Moral Dissonance: Most pronounced in Retribution, where Jack in the cutscenes repeatedly claims to be a "good cop" and stresses the the importance of arresting and interrogating criminals, despite the fact that he in gameplay kills practically every single criminal he comes across, and even does so in pretty sadistic ways. Most jarring in this department his first encounter with the GAC, where he expresses his disgust for their Judge, Jury, and Executioner methods, without any hints of Irony, at all.
    • Oh, he eventually reflects on his killing spree and vows to act more like his father, by bringing Temple in instead of just flat out assassinating him like he did the whole game till now. Jack does this by slaughtering is way through Temple's bodyguards and using him as a human shield against the heavily armed GAC troops specifically there to kill his hostage.
      • But there is also the problem that Frank Slate's morals is also quite questionable. His definition of "good police work" seems to be running around a poor neighborhood with his son and dog in tow, and killing everyone who puts up any resistance with his bare hands. His sole attempt at diplomacy seems to prompted by suddenly running into criminals that are carrying guns.
  • Murder by Cremation: You defeat the Final Boss by pushing him into a furnace.
  • Murder, Inc.: Mayhem Inc in the original game.
  • Mythology Gag: As well as GAC returning as antagonists, Pinnacle is briefly mentioned in Retribution though is apparently not the mayor. The ending also features a cameo by Preacherman, and mentions that the mayor is now Gloria Exner, Pinnacle's opposing candidate from the original.
  • No Indoor Voice: In Retribution, Jack often screams his taunts as loud as possible, most notably a very emphasized FUCK YOU!
    • Don't forget: You have the right to remain SILENT!
  • Operation Game of Doom: Bomb-defusing sequences required the player to pull bombs out of cylinders in this way. Each bomb had a small pin which ran inside a channel on the inside of the cylinder. Touching the pin to the side of the channel had a predictable effect.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Dead to Rights: Jack has avenged his father's murder, but his girlfriend Hildy, his fellow assassin friend Eve, and both candidates running for mayor are dead, and the struggle for power will only continue in the city.
    • Dead to Rights II: Congratulations, Jack! You killed Blanchov! But your girlfriend is dead, the judge you were trying to save all along is dead, and you have no idea where his files are.
  • Rated "M" for Manly: To a ridiculous extent. Jack Slate himself crosses straight into Testosterone Poisoning, complete with Chris Redfield-like physique.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: At the end of the first game (which is chronologically the last), Jack, after killing pretty much everyone that screwed him over, decides that he can't deal with Grant City anymore, and leaves the city to rot.
  • See You in Hell: The end credits sequence for the original Dead to Rights has every villain in the game (all of whom he killed) shouting, "See you in hell, Jack Slate!"
  • Sequel Hook: Rather oddly, despite Jack ending the first game with a big speech about how he's still going to do his part to fight injustice, there has never been an actual sequel, just a prequel and an alternate continuity.
  • Shout-Out: Fat Chow in the original game is a thinly veiled reference to Chow Yun Fat, a Shout Out to the game's heavy John Woo influences.
    • In Retribution Jack gives his badge number as B-263-54, the same as Rick Deckard's.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: From the original game:

Jack: He walked in like he owned the place... which suggested he probably did.


  • Throw-Away Guns: Jack doesn't have time to reload. He just tosses his pistols aside and draws new ones.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Redwater in Retribution. And arguably, Jack.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Jack Slate, in the second-to-last level of his original game, has to ride his motorcycle off a cliff to catch up to a departing cargo plane full of gold. He jumps off the motorcycle, twists in midair, shoots the pursuing motorcycle behind him to make it explode, and uses the force of the shockwave to basically fly like Superman into the cargo plane's open hatch while shooting three enemies with Guns Akimbo. It's just as ludicrous as it sounds. Also, as mentioned above, one of the end-level bosses is named "Longshoreman X."
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Lampshaded in the second game. Twice. You know you're doing something wrong if the Big Bad tells you to just shoot him the first chance you get.
  • Zerg Rush: The usual strategy of every single Mook faction in the game which is especially jarring for the assassins of Mayhem Inc and the elite SWAT-like unit GAC. By the end of the game, you've probably killed a small town's worth of both.