RoboCop (character)

RoboCop is a fictional cyborg Detroit police officer from the feature film of the same name. The character begins as a human police officer Alex J. Murphy, who is killed in the line of duty by a vicious crime gang. Subsequently, Murphy is transformed into the cyborg entity by the megacorporation Omni Consumer Products. The character's famous catchphrase is "Dead or alive, you're coming with me."

History

Mild-mannered Police Officer Alex Murphy was serving with the Detroit Police Department when its funding and administration was taken over by the private corporation Omni Consumer Products. Murphy was a devout Irish Catholic and a family man, living with his wife, Ellen, and his son, Jimmy. To provide a good role model for his son, Murphy began practicing the gun twirl move of his son's hero, a cop named T.J. Lazer portrayed on a television show. Murphy’s psychological profile stated that he was top of his class at the police academy and possessed a fierce sense of duty. This dedication explained why Murphy didn’t exhibit the negative attitudes and statements shared by his fellow officers when he was transferred to the Metro West Precinct, the most violent area of Old Detroit. The police dissatisfaction is a result of OCP’s free-enterprise marketing and efficiency, mismanagement, which has lead to the deaths of many police officers in the precinct. Murphy is partnered with Officer Anne Lewis, a veteran of Old Detroit. During a pursuit and subsequent raid against a crime lord named Clarence Boddicker in a steel mill, Murphy is severely wounded by gunfire by Boddicker’s gang. While surrounded by the gang and asked for his opinion of Boddicker, Murphy defiantly maintains his sense of duty and ideals of justice by stating, “Buddy, I think you’re slime.” While Lewis is incapacitated, Boddicker executes Murphy with a gunshot to the head. Murphy is transported to the hospital emergency room where he dies and his remains are used by OCP in the construction of RoboCop.

The RoboCop Program

OCP held a contract to fund and run the Detroit Police Department. Security Concepts was the division that provided oversight for the police. In order to supplement the police force that was overwhelmed with crime, Security Concepts began developing robotic law enforcement units. Executive Robert Morton developed the RoboCop program. Morton and his team restructured the police force and placed prime candidates with high aptitude and experience in law enforcement into high crime areas where death in the line of duty was highly probable. Once a death occurred, the deceased officer would be used in the construction of a cyborg law enforcement unit. This unit would be afforded the fastest reflexes made possible by modern technology, a memory assisted by an on-board computer, and programmed with a lifetime experience in on-the-street law enforcement. Murphy was used to become the prototype RoboCop and designated OCP Crime Prevention Unit 001.

Prime directives

RoboCop is programmed to follow four prime directives:
#"Serve the public trust"
#"Protect the innocent"
#"Uphold the law"
#(Classified)

The fourth directive, which he was programmed to be unaware of unless it became relevant, rendered him physically incapable of placing any senior OCP employee under arrest: "any attempt to arrest a senior OCP employee results in shutdown". Senior Vice President Richard "Dick" Jones stated that Directive 4 was his contribution to RoboCop's psychological profile. Jones informed RoboCop that he was an OCP product and not an ordinary police officer. In the first movie, it made RoboCop unable to act against corrupt Jones until the chairman of OCP shouted, "Dick, you're fired!"

In "RoboCop 3", Directive Four is rewritten as "Never oppose an OCP officer". Also noteworthy is that Directive 4 has been erased twice, in each of the sequels. "RoboCop 2" and "Robocop 3" sees the deletion of all of the directives.

Weapons

Auto-9

RoboCop's primary weapon; it is a (presumably) 9mm handgun with a large barrel extension that fires in three round bursts. The gun remains stored in a mechanical holster which deploys from Robocop's right leg. The prop for the weapon is a modified Beretta 93R. Some Japanese airsoft manufacturers have made BB gun replicas.

Cobra assault cannon

The cobra assault cannon used in "RoboCop" could fire explosive rounds equivalent to that of a missile launcher and is based on the Barrett M82A1 sniper rifle. The version used in "RoboCop 2" has a smaller build and fires smaller explosive rounds. This version uses the .50 BMG Pauza P-50 rifle.

Machine gun/rocket launcher

This weapon made its appearance in "RoboCop 3" and was never referenced by name other than being called a "weapon arm" in promotional action figures. To use it, RoboCop removes one of his hands and replaces it with the weapon assembly. It contains a machine gun of unknown caliber, a flamethrower and a small missile launcher with a projectile potent enough to destroy an armored vehicle.

Jetpack/recharging station

A large weapons pack that allows RoboCop to fly. It also doubles as a replenishing system for when RoboCop's battery system is low on power. As seen in "RoboCop 3", the jetpack allows Murphy to overcome his relatively limited mobility for tactical advantage in combat.

Mini-gun/cannon

This weapon appears in "Frank Miller's RoboCop" comic book and was originally meant to be RoboCop's arm cannon prior to the final product in RoboCop 3.

Perception

RoboCop has an internal zoom capability for better aim as well as tracking. RoboCop also has different vision modes but the only one that has been used in the movies was thermal vision in "RoboCop" and "RoboCop 3". His systems use a grid which is crucial to RoboCop's targeting as well as bullet trajectory (allowing him to make ricochet shots), though apparently the targeting reticle of RoboCop is internal to him, as seen in the first movie. As seen in RoboCop 2, RoboCop's programming prevents him from targeting children, which allowed Hob to shoot RoboCop and escape the Nuke drug lab. He also has a recorder which can detect voice fluctuations and stress as well as play back audio/visual. This recording capability enables RoboCop to document any situation he encounters with perfect recall and unbiased neutrality, with his memory being deemed through legal agreement as admissible evidence in a court of law. As seen in RoboCop 2, RoboCop possesses a directional microphone with which he can track conversations from a distance. It would seem to be very sensitive, as he can hear vehicles approaching from afar despite being indoors (as he did when he was hiding out in RoboCop 3).

Body structure

RoboCop's body, while incorporating portions of Alex Murphy's living tissue, is largely electronic and mechanical. This interior structure is protected by an armored shell composed of "titanium laminated with Kevlar" making RoboCop incredibly resilient against both bombs and bullets, as well as extreme impacts such as being hit by cars and falling off skyscrapers. As demonstrated in "RoboCop" the body armor can sustain thousands of armor-piercing rounds before damage begins to appear on the armor itself. It is also highly resistant to heat, as in "RoboCop" he was unaffected after being caught in a gas station explosion and in "RoboCop 3" when he was briefly set aflame. His visor is made of the same material and a black strip of bulletproof anti-fog glass which protects the cranium apparatus and eyes. The visor also has an undercloth of Kevlar which protects the neck and covers up any wires etc. It should also be noted that the visor conceals most of Alex Murphy's face inside it.

In "RoboCop 2", RoboCop's right arm contained a display that alerted personnel to his health status. RoboCop's hands also contain actuators strong enough to crush every bone in a human hand (about 400 foot pounds). His right hand also contains a spike (referred to by fans as a "dataspike") which is used to retrieve or display data from any computer bank with a corresponding port. At the end of the first film, the jack is also used as a stabbing weapon against the antagonist Clarence Boddicker. RoboCop is extremely strong, able to lift the front of the average car over his head with one arm or resist the crushing effort of a car crusher, as seen in the TV series (episodes 5 and 21, respectively). He was designed to be able "to penetrate virtually any building," and breaks locks with ease.

In Frank Miller's RoboCop, RoboCop stores his reserve box magazines in his right wrist; this is never shown in the film series. He is seen reloading the Auto-9 in "RoboCop 2" with a magazine already in hand at the start of the scene. In the later television series, the holster area of his left thigh is used to store grenades, though on some schematic drawings the same area is used to store an emergency oxygen tank.

"RoboCop" implies that only Murphy's head or brain was used in the construction of RoboCop, as Morton states that "total body prosthesis" was an agreed-upon parameter. It is unclear whether or not RoboCop's human face is merely a replica of Murphy's, as it contains a scar in the location where Boddicker shot him in the head, though he himself tells Murphy's wife (in RoboCop 2) that "they made this to honor him." After touching it, she says, "it's cold." In the script of the same film, it was initially planned that Cain and crew would remove Murphy's face during their attack on him, to reveal a Terminator-esque skull underneath. However in the first movie it is mentioned that Robocop does eat, implying that some of Murphy's biological remains are left, possibly as a means of providing energy to the brain. In "RoboCop: Creating a Legend", a bonus feature on the RoboCop: 20th Anniversary DVD, it is speculated that Murphy's face was removed from his corpse and implanted on the cyborg's head to give RoboCop a sense of identity. This psychological disruption RoboCop may have experienced is explained from the basis that a person whose memory has been erased would still possess the memory of being human and would suffer a psychotic breakdown if that person saw the reflection of a robotic image instead of their original image of humanity.

Trivia

* Alex Ross created Batman's armor in "Kingdom Come" series, inspired from RoboCop's body.

* In "Last Tap Dance in Springfield", an episode of "The Simpsons", Homer watches a TV show called, "CybOrganizer," about a man who is turned into the ultimate Office Worker. Marge asks Homer to do something and he complains that he wants to enjoy the series before the Network ruins it to make it more suitable for family viewing. We cut back to the show to hear CybOrganizer complain that he has to work extremely hard, and be a full time single parent, at which point a small robot child appears and announces, "I love you Daddy," and Homer deems himself too late.

* Oddly, from RoboCop 2 onward, RoboCop's armor is blue, as opposed to silver.

* RoboCop is mentioned in Lemon Demon's The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, in which he helps to kill the near invincible Chuck Norris. The Terminator follows immediately after, perhaps a hint to their comic together, which itself spawned a game and almost a movie.

* In "Sailor Moon", RoboCop's Prime Directives, minus Directive 4, was on Sailor Mercury's mini-computer before she shuts it off.

* RoboCop appeared in WCW to save Sting from the Four Horsemen.


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