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Join John Linneman and Audi Sorlie as they break open a vintage 2000 sealed copy of Shiny Entertainment's Messiah. Lauded in its day for its groundbreaking tech, but not exactly renowned for classic gameplay, DF Retro revisits the game on period appropriate PC hardware.
The ambiance of the game is very pleasant, showing varied scenarios and with a level design that changes as you progress through the levels of the game. The objective is always the same, to collect as many batteries as possible, in addition to rescuing other robots that are hidden by the stage. The interesting thing here is that at each level there is always a change in the level design, including new elements, such as new obstacles, as well as new skills that facilitate the completion of the levels.
I didn't support a gamepad style controller in Banished. Mostly because by the time I thought it would be useful, there was so much intractable hard to change UI that I didn't want to add another 500K of C++ code and tons of layout data to make the game work.
Back when I made console games, there was a fixed resolution and all user interface assets were made for that resolution. It was awesome and easy. PC games, not so. Even console games now are tricky if you ship multi-platform and have a huge resolution range. I wanted to take care of this.
MDK is a 1997 third-person shooter video game developed by Shiny Entertainment for Microsoft Windows. It was ported to Mac OS by Shokwave, and to the PlayStation by Neversoft. It was published on all systems by PIE in North America, with Shiny Entertainment publishing it themselves in Europe. The Windows version was released in May 1997, and the PlayStation version in November. The game was released on GOG.com in September 2008, and on Steam in September 2009.
The game tells the story of Kurt Hectic, a janitor who reluctantly attempts to save Earth from an alien invasion of gigantic strip mining city-sized vehicles named \"Minecrawlers\". The Minecrawlers are actively removing all of Earth's natural resources, crushing any people and cities that get in their way. Aided by his boss, the possibly insane inventor and scientist Dr. Fluke Hawkins, and a robotic two-legged/four-armed dog named Bones, Kurt must infiltrate each Minecrawler, and fight his way to the pilot, whom he must then kill before returning to Hawkins' in-orbit space station, the Jim Dandy.
Conceived and co-designed by Nick Bruty, MDK was Shiny's first PC game, and was notable for using software rendering, requiring a Pentium or equivalent microprocessor, rather than necessitating any GPU enhancements, despite its large 3D levels and complex polygonal enemies. As the developers were attempting very ambitious things, they wrote their own programming language. Additionally, when in sniper mode, the player has the ability to zoom up to 100x, but the developers chose not to employ any of the standard solutions to pop-up, such as clipping or fogging. They also worked to ensure the game ran at a minimum of 30fps at all times on all machines. The game's original system requirements were a 60 MHz Pentium, 16MB of RAM, 17MB of hard drive storage, an SVGA compatible video card, and a Sound Blaster or equivalent sound card.
MDK received generally positive reviews, with critics praising the gameplay, the level design, the sardonic sense of humor, the game's technical accomplishments, and the use of sniper mode. The most often repeated criticisms included that the game was too short, and the story was weak. The game was a commercial success, and Interplay approached Bruty to work on a sequel immediately. However, he was already developing Giants: Citizen Kabuto, so BioWare was hired to develop the game. MDK2 was published for Windows and the Dreamcast in 2000, and for the PlayStation 2 (as MDK 2: Armageddon) in 2001. In 2007, Interplay announced a third game was planned, but it was never made.
For the most part, MDK is a run-and-gun third-person shooter. It also features several minigames, and allows the player to enter first-person mode at any time they wish to use their sniper weapon. The basic design of the game involves distinct levels in which the player character, Kurt Hectic, must infiltrate a \"Minecrawler\", fight his way through an array of enemies, tackle some rudimentary puzzles, and reach the control center, where he must then eliminate the pilot in a boss fight. Every level is completely different; enemies, level design, aesthetic, and control center layout, with a different strategy required to eliminate each pilot.
During the run-and-gun gameplay, the player must frequently use Kurt's \"ribbon chute\", a parachute contained within his outfit that can be used indefinitely. The chute allows Kurt to make long jumps, survive long falls, and utilize updrafts. It deploys immediately, and retracts automatically when not being used. Kurt also has access to a smart bomb feature, where he can call Max to fly a bomber over the battle area and drop bombs on the enemies. To call Max, Kurt must have collected an airstrike pickup within the game. He must enter sniper mode to select the area he wants Max to target. Additionally, the airstrike can only be used in exterior locations on the Minecrawler. Other weaponry in the game includes grenades, \"The World's Most Interesting Bomb\" (when Kurt throws the bomb, all enemies within the vicinity will approach it, at which point Kurt can detonate it), \"The Very Large Hamster Hammer\" (a giant hammer that causes the ground to vibrate violently, damaging any nearby enemies), and \"The World's Smallest Nuclear Explosion\" (used for opening locked doors).
In addition to the run-and-gun/sniper modes, there are several additional gameplay modes in MDK. All levels start out with an \"atmospheric entry\" in which Kurt jumps from his base ship, the Jim Dandy space station, which is in orbit around Earth, to the Minecrawler on the planet's surface. As he descends, the Minecrawler activates its radar, which, if touched, triggers the launch of anti-air missiles, which must be dodged. Some levels feature Kurt taking over an enemy bombing ship and performing bombing runs, some feature a glider which Kurt must ride to a specific location. One level features several snowboarding sequences, where Kurt must navigate obstacles while destroying enemies. Additionally, once a level has been completed, the Minecrawler disintegrates, and is sucked back into the energy stream from which it emerged, taking Kurt with it. Kurt then has a set period of time in the energy stream, during which he pursues a health power-up, which, if collected, grants 150% health for the start of the next level. If he touches the walls of the stream, he loses health and decelerates. At the end of the set period, Max will enter the stream on a tether and pull Kurt back to the Jim Dandy.
Kurt's main defense against his enemies is his \"Coil Suit\", a skin-tight armor made of a Kevlar-like material, and created on a \"nuclear-blast proof sewing machine\". This suit serves as a bulletproof vest during the combat sections of the game, and also protects Kurt from friction and heat during the atmospheric entry sections. Kurt's weapon is a chain gun, which is attached to his arm, and carries unlimited ammo. The other major weapon in the game is a sniper gun. This is created when Kurt detaches his chain gun from his arm and mounts it onto his helmet. The sniper weapon can zoom up to 100x, and has the capability of supporting five different types of ammunition, including homing missiles and mortar shells. Kurt does not actually see out of the helmet, rather, he sees out of a HUD, which he uses to aim. There are also three \"Bullet Cams\" that track each projectile and linger briefly after impact, showing any damage done. However, when Kurt is in sniper mode, he is unable to move, and can thus be easily targeted by enemies.
The story of the game begins in 1996 when inventor/scientist Dr. Fluke Hawkins believes he has made a revolutionary discovery; an outer space phenomenon he calls \"Flange Orbits\". However, when he approaches the scientific community with his discovery, he is ridiculed. Determined to prove his colleagues wrong, Hawkins builds a space station, the Jim Dandy, and bribes aboard his laboratory janitor, Kurt Hectic, by means of Hungarian goulash. He then launches the station into orbit, projecting that the mission will last five days. However, after a week, Hawkins realizes Flange Orbits do not actually exist, but rather than return to Earth in shame, he decides to remain on the Dandy to try to discover something, anticipating another week in space. Kurt is extremely unhappy with this development, but once Hawkins shows him how to program the VCR, he calms down.
MDK's writer, co-designer and co-artist Nick Bruty has said the initial impetus for the game was his desire to move away from the type of game on which he had previously been working; family-friendly games such as Aladdin (1993), The Jungle Book (1993), Earthworm Jim (1994) and Earthworm Jim 2 (1995), all of which Bruty had worked on for the Sega Genesis. According to Bruty,
MDK was a reaction, or outburst, from having worked back-to-back on cartoon games such as Aladdin, Jungle Book and Earthworm Jim. Don't get me wrong, I loved working on those games and learning new styles; but my heart is in fantasy and science fiction. I knew straight away that this was what I wanted to do next. 59ce067264