PRO NUKEM: MANHATTAN PROJECT
[DUKE NUKEM] Time to de-worm the Big Apple! *Manhattan Grabbag* *Lord Of L.A.* [CIVVIE] Do you guys have any idea how many times I've tried to make this video? Three. It doesn't sound like a lot, but this game has been giving me trouble the whole time.
Just endless headaches because people won't stop asking for it, one motherf*cker comes in and says *beep* because people won't stop asking for it, one motherf*cker comes in and says because people won't stop asking for it, one motherf*cker comes in and says [talking like a whiny kid] "But you pwoomised to do a Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project video Civvie!" [normal] A person who doesn't understand that maybe, just maybe, talking to a YouTuber in the same tone you ask your mommy to stop for McDonald's reflects badly on everyone involved. There are other reasons, besides certain things I'll get into later, that I've put off this video. Manhattan Project is like the end of an era. It's the last good Duke game.
It's the last game where Duke was awesome. The fact that it was developed by Sunstorm might have had something to do with it. After all those expansions for Build Engine games and the success of Deer Hunter, Sunstorm was given the keys to the Dukemobile and with them, they made a title that was the end of his relevance, in a good game, it's his Last Crusade, the very final time Duke didn't suck. Yes, I know Duke Nukem Advance is the best shooter on the GBA and came out a few months later, it's not the same.
Manhattan Project isn't just a Duke3D de-make on a portable SNES. [GBA DUKE] Holy cow! Who wants some? [CIVVIE] Nah, this is something different you get from a Wal-Mart in 2003 for $10 and then again on Steam for $15 because it's worth it, I love this game! Well, it used to be on Steam, now you can only buy it from the ZOOM Platform, because they made a sneaky little forever- digital-distribution-deal before Randy slithered in and you can get Duke Nukem 1, 2, a clean version of Atomic Edition, and Manhattan Project there. Oh yeah, I had to make sure you weren't a scam before mentioning you in a video, ZOOM platform, I'm sorry. But you guys also packaged Corkscrew Rules with Postal 2, which is like selling someone a puppy with uncontrollable diarrhea. This game got re-released on iOS, Xbox Live Arcade and then Steam, and that Steam one at least was handled by Interceptor Entertainment?! [DOUG WENDT] Let them have it! ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH! [CIVVIE] Oh yeah, look at that pretty new launcher that lets you select a widescreen resolution, that's all well and good, but there's no FOV option so we gotta go into the config file, put a new one in, and mark it Read-only so it doesn't revert every time I exit the game, oh yeah, that's the stuff! There's also no V-sync option which would be normal for this kinda game and perfectly acceptable but guess what kids, game's broken without it! Gotta force it through the NVidia control panel because if I don't, Duke here can't double-jump, a thing he can do in this game and only in this game, from the very start, and if you can't double-jump, you might as well shut it off. Now that the technical stuff is out of the way, we can experience what this game promises: "TOTAL MUTANT MAYHEM!" Oh yeah, Sunstorm has a treat for us, they went out swinging.
*Manhattan Grabbag* That intro music sound familiar? It's Civvie's personal favorite rendition of Grabbag arranged by Darren Mohle, for all those people in the comments of the previous Duke videos asking what that kickass rendition of Duke's theme was. The rest of the music in the game is kinda dull and lame and filler, but that Grabbag, man… The nuke symbol crashes into the screen, we do a New Game, we do Hard, cause why not? It's important this time around… you'll see. *Manhattan Grabbag ends* We get a story, like an intro of a story, some table setting, that lasts like a minute. Katie's gonna put some subtitles down here to help you since I can't understand what this dude is saying either… [MAYOR] [CIVVIE] Okay, so, the year of your lord two-thousand-and-two… requires some context.
[AL GORE] The Republican as well as Democratic leaders of Congress have endorsed it. I'd be interested if this eve- if- if he would this evening say that he would put Medicare in a lock box. [CIVVIE] I made Katie watch a 2000 Presidential debate to get this clip, please leave an F in the comments for Katie, I'm so sorry. It's okay, the intro is basically over… [MAYOR] I give you… [DUKE] Say hello to my little friend! Let's rock! [ANNOUNCER] They're heading for the roof! [DUKE] Don't get your panties all in a bunch! [CIVVIE] Duke's back! He's got nothing but one-liners and lead for these pigs. That's it, that's the intro.
One more shot with a nice little reference to Duke's side-scrolling history. That's right, this is a side-scroller! In glorious two-point-five-D! [DUKE] New York! It's my kinda town! [CIVVIE] Oh, yeah. Jon St. John sounds better than he ever has in this game, in my opinion, reaching that middle ground between doing it right in Duke3D and having higher-quality voice clips. He's killing it throughout this whole game. Cool pistol, right? Duke's patented Golden Eagle, back when that weapon didn't suck.
You won't see much of it for a while because there's a secret shotgun behind the starting area. [DUKE] This'll be a barrel of laughs! [CIVVIE] There's only three ammo types in Manhattan Project: bullets, bombs, and GLOPP. So this shotgun uses 5 bullets with every shot. I actually restarted my playthrough after this to set my FOV higher and I noticed something… [DUKE] New York… If I can kill 'em here… I can kill 'em anywhere! [CIVVIE] He's got different intro one-liners! That's fucking GREAT! We're not even gonna use the shotgun yet, cause Duke has his Mighty Foot, the kick is bound to Space, while in classic style Fire is bound to Alt and Jump to Control, but I always switch those around, it's how I always played.
And this kick, it's weird, and awkward sometimes, but it gives you the best rewards. You see them little green numbers there? That's part of this game's health system, and I think this is the introduction of the EGO system you'd see in later games… like DNF… Except it makes sense here! You get EGO for killing enemies, and you get different amounts depending on what weapon you use. If you're using the shotgun, not so much, but if you kick 'em to death, it'll give you the max ego boost because you're being awesome. The slide kick is kinda weak, and it sucks, the jump kick is where it's at.
Right off the bat, the game is teaching you all the climbing and ledge grabbing, that ledge grabbing works like 99.9% of the time, jump up there and grab that SWEET, SWEET NUKE! This game has collectables, in the form of these nukes. There are ten per level, some of which are hidden away in secrets, some of which are very hard to find, but you want 'em. And we're getting all of them in this playthrough. Excluding the kick, there are 8 weapons in Manhattan Project.
"But Civvie, I only see seven weapons there!" Hush, child, calm yourself, shut the fuck up! We're supposed to get the shotgun later for slot 3, slot 2 is pipe-bombs, and oh, the pipe-bombs have a dedicated button too, so you can toss 'em and detonate them whenever you want. Oh, it gets better. [DUKE] Ooh, that's gonna leave a mark! [CIVVIE] Look at them gibs, kids! Beautiful! Oh no, this pigcop is on a ledge above me, I couldn't possibly… You see what I meant about the constant double-jumping? [DUKE] It's clobbering time! Squeal like a pig! [CIVVIE] This. Is awesome.
Until you get to the armored pigcops who take at least two face-kicks to kill, and the game tells you, "Hey, use your crouch to avoid some of their fire" until they start crouching and firing bursts of shotgun blasts. Things are a little zoomed-out right now, I know, it gets better in the non-rooftop areas, and it wasn't designed for a wider FOV because sometimes you'll see holes in the levels cause the designers never thought you'd ever have that on screen. Oh well.
This is what it looks like without changing the FOV. This is default, which is 50, and I tried 70 and 90, 90 was what I was most comfortable with usually, everything else felt so claustrophobic. If you don't like it, shut the fuck up, I'm not gonna make this video again.
Manhattan Project is separated into 8 chapters with three levels, each chapter takes place in a different locale, and each level has the same two objectives. Find an exit key and save a babe. YES! Duke saves them in this game! All of them! They're strapped to bombs that you have to defuse by Fonzing. [BABE] What can I do to thank you? [DUKE] I am the king of the world, baby! [CIVVIE] This is how Duke interacts with all things! This is how Duke disarms bombs! Those devices the babes are strapped to are GLOPP bombs, GLOPP being… Hold on, let's crack open that tiny Jewel case booklet, "Gluon Liquid Omega Phased Plasma," which is an acronym so tortured that I strongly identify with it. It mutates anything it comes into contact with instantly, except Duke, it only hurts him a bit. The models in this game are a tad low-poly, even for 2002, but the particles and effects are pretty, and the animations are cool, like Duke climbing or when he's one-handed firing the shotgun and uses the force to pump it, it's ridiculous and wonderful.
Oh no, I can't hit that pigcop because we only aim in four directions, two if you're hanging on a pipe, I can inch up to avoid getting hit. This is a conundrum… Yeeeeahhh! Those explosion sounds are nice and the whole screen shakes a little at any explosion. Here's all the nukes, which give you immediate benefits for every level where you collect all of them. You get a max EGO and ammo boost for all types. And you can do this in every level, so that's 24 character upgrades in the game, it's like finding these isn't a waste of time! There you go, got the exit key, fonz the switch, and most times, the level is over. *Manhattan Grabbag* Hell, yeah, and look at Duke here, this art style, the chunkiness, the cartoon-ish graphics, really help to make this super-buff roid-head not be a horrifying Cronenberg monster like he is in later games where they go for a more realistic look.
Next couple levels are still on rooftops, and they're not the worst in the game, certainly not the best either. [DUKE] I don't do windows! [CIVVIE] I think that line is emblematic of Duke in this game, in that it isn't great, but Jon St. John delivers it with gusto! He sells some stinker lines in this game, except this one. [DUKE] Clean up on aisle four! [CIVVIE] I hate that line and he says it a lot. This level has a jet pack in a secret. It kinda sucks because it's a temporary power-up. It lasts about 30 seconds, is a little hard to fly, you can cancel it by pressing "jump" again.
If you're close enough to an enemy you can burn them to death with it which is a nice touch. Aside from pigcops, this episode has these nasty camera robots that shoot highly-painful lasers and because they fly and have small hit-boxes, they're the toughest enemies in the game to nail. [DUKE] That's gonna leave a mark! [CIVVIE] Oh, even the robot gibs are cool! See, the villain of this game, Mech Morphix, who sounds like he should be menacing the Power Rangers but only like for one episode, you can tell he wants to be Doctor Proton so bad but couldn't get the franchise rights because 3D Realms was using him for Duke Nukem Forever which was gonna be done any day now. In fact, one of the lines in the game files, which is this: [DUKE] Come on out, Morphix! [CIVVIE] Is called this! And Mech Morphix made all this GLOPP to take over the world with mutants. And robots, he has robots too, and because this is a Duke Nukem game, fembots! [DUKE] What a pussy! [CIVVIE] Dominatrix fembots with whips! We haven't even seen Morphix in this game yet.
He's introduced at the end of the first chapter along with a light machine gun that the game calls an assault rifle in a weird reversal of weapon misnaming. It glows blue and shoots good. You're never gonna see this shotgun again. At the end of the third section of each chapter, there's a boss fight.
Pay no attention to the seams in the sky-box, they never meant for us to play this in this high of a resolution. No, Duke! Don't stand near the explosive barrels! [DUKE] Come on out, Morphix! There's only two ways this can end… and in both of them, you die! [CIVVIE] Oh god, it's been so long since Duke kicked ass, I… It brings a tear to my eye. Here's a fun thing, if you boost your EGO up to 250, you get double damage! And it happens enough in this game for it to matter! The chopper fires missiles at you, so you shoot its rocket launcher, and then it fires bullets at you, so you shoot the minigun on it to freeze it in place so it temporarily can't aim at you. Running from the air strike, the chopper swoops back around and shoots MORE missiles at you! [PILOT] Damn it! Rocket launcher destroyed! Proceeding to attack phase code word: Bringing Bacon! [CIVVIE] This phase kinda sucks and is boring. Shoot pigcops, avoid minigun. But I love the way it ends and I can't tell if it's something the designers intended to happen or if it happened and they left it in, but… [PILOT] Holy shit! He's unstoppable! Taking evasive action! [CIVVIE] It's the last part of this phase's health bar! It's a good joke. [DUKE] Where'd that chopper go? It can't get away from me that easily! [MORPHIX] I've lost him! Where's Nukem?! [PILOT] Sir, heavy load on our right side! [MORPHIX] Son of a bitch, it's Duke! Lose him, you idiot! [PILOT] Don't worry sir, it's already done.
[DUKE] Let's rock! [CIVVIE] Phase 3! Tossing pipe-bombs in air while trying to dodge the minigun, it's a lot, it's the hardest part, because you're hurting yourself with splash damage and getting blown down this ladder, this is a pretty involved boss fight because Sunstorm, I guess, decided to front load the good boss fight, because most of them are pretty lame. Maybe 3 or 4 cool ones out of 8. [DUKE] Looks like your hardware's s gone a little soft, Morphix! [MORPHIX] Goddammit! Pull the *beep* up! [CIVVIE] "The Big Apple met Duke with a warm welcome, which he warmly returned with red-hot lead."
Yes. Perfect. A+ Duke Nukem writing. "After sending the chopper to the junk heap, Duke descended to the streets of Chinatown, heading for Club Ming," "a well-known dive known for attracting punks and goons who could be squeezed for info." Well, okay, that's more C– writing with using "known" twice in the same sentence like that, it's no Sandy Petersen intermission, and we won't be squeezing any punks.
*Manhattan Grabbag ends* We finally get to SEE MORPHIX! *mechanical anomaly* [MORPHIX] Lucky shot, Nukem! But your luck's about to run out! [CIVVIE] Oh, you got a generic laser sword on your arm there, which I guess is just for show cause you're not killing Duke while he's unconscious, rookie mistake. Digging the Rob Halford look you're going for, but I don't think you can hit those high notes. [threatening tone] But we gonna find out later, motherfucker! [DUKE] Pigs will fly before Morphix rules the world on my watch! *squealing* [CIVVIE] Hey, chopper had one more in it! [DUKE] Looks like Morphix is headed for Club Ming! That place has Chinese mafia written all over it! [CIVVIE] How would you know? This ain't your town! "The King's Noodle Restaurant". "Until you've slurped the King's Noodle, you haven't tasted anything!" Yeah, Sunstorm knows what they're doing with this game, we're in good hands.
There's even a decent amount of interactivity for a game that, you know, is a side-scroller. Fonz one of these vending machines to load Duke up on energy drinks! [DUKE] Son of a bitch! [A TRINITY PARODY] I know you're searching for something, Nukem, and I know how you feel. Follow the white rabbit, Nukem! [NEO] I remember this. [CIVVIE] Oh my god. Totally irrelevant after 2002, somehow, it's come right back around. [CLINTON IMPERSONATOR] Oh, Monica, please come over here quickly.
I've got a new box of cigars I need to try out on you. [NEO] I remember this. [CIVVIE] I dunno, man, even in 2002, Monika Lewinski jokes were pretty played out. Listen, the coolest thing a president has done in my lifetime is get a blow-job.
Another thing, which the game abuses a lot later on, is that GLOPP in the environment will mutate small animals that go into it, including rats, pigs, gators, and cockroaches. [DUKE] Take that, you dirty rat! [CIVVIE] They're appearing a little early. For a while, each chapter introduces new mutants for you to kill, and this one is the ninja gator chapter. Hit-scanners who can leap around and dragon-kick you. Best defense is to quickly duck before they start firing and they're helpless to machine gun fire.
The yellow ones are weaker and can be kicked in the face once. I still mostly just shoot them. Next level starts with some non-combat, where you dodge cars. [DUKE] What am I, a frog? [CIVVIE] Yeah, exactly. This level also has one of my favorite features of this game, which is really extensive secret areas.
So you go into the sewer here, and to get out, it gives you this jet pack, but instead of using the jet pack to get out, you take it one room back and go through this pipe and BAM, two more nukes and a +100 health pickup, and an interesting solution to the problem of walking into an enemy from a doorway. That's Duke's mighty swagger right there. There are some mini-bosses too, like this large gator, who's got two nukes and a blue key.
That key will get me into Club Ming, but I gotta reload cause I missed a nuke. This one. In this barrel. At the end of the level. By the way, about Club Ming… Epilepsy warning! We should have a fucking Epilepsy Warning counter on this show, but, unfortunately, I'd ask Katie to make it bright and flashy, which would itself require an epilepsy warning.
[DUKE] Death before disco! [CIVVIE] Fuckin' A! I remember this Duke, this is the Duke we all loved. Putting these exploding laser robots in tight corners was a dick move. I can't even cheese them with doors in this game. The boss of this section is pretty lame, he's an extra-large ninja gator, and here comes my favorite Duke Nukem line ever. [ALLIGATOR BOSS] You wanted a fight?! FIGHT ME!!! [DUKE] I'm not gonna fight you. I'm gonna kick your ass! [ALLIGATOR BOSS] Argh! Fortune cookie didn't say anything about this! You'll never take me alive! If this doesn't kill you, the bombs in the subway will! *laughs evilly* [CIVVIE] Damn I didn't get all the nukes, he dropped 3. Which means I missed 3.
*Super Mario Bros. 3 Sky Land Theme* [DUKE] Time to deliver Max Pain on the A-Train! Now where'd I put that subway token? So much for the rat pack! [CIVVIE] The subway levels are, let's be honest, half-sewers. But I'm gonna balance it out and give a half-count to this shitty joke that aged worse than the Bill Clinton one.
At the start of this section, you can find a secret ANTI-GLOPP gun, which runs on GLOPP and is kinda like the Shrinker except less effective and I don't really like using it. It will de-mutate enemies, reverting them to animal form, so you can stomp on them for one point of ego, because they're small, and Duke only gets a little bit of pride from murdering small animals, where was PETA when this game was being made? This is just cruel! You're saving the animals, then killing them, and didn't that mayor say at the beginning that the family got turned into cockroaches? So these are half-mutated humans that I'm fully mutating into animals and then murdering them, and getting health from it! So wait, the pigcops were mutated cops in Duke3D and now they're mutated pigs? Where do the clothes and guns come from, Manhattan Project?! WHERE DO THE CLOTHES AND GUNS COME FR- *TV buzzing* This game sucks! We got giant cockroaches, who spit GLOPP that piles up, and you gotta drop a pipe-bomb to get rid of those puddles quickly, but yeah you can still kick 'em in the face, exoskeleton or not. And also pipe-bombs. I… I love the pipe-bombs in this game. The mutant rats are worse. They come in all different flavors and they all toss pipe-bombs. One is incendiary that hurts if you touch the particles at all, then one that launches a bunch of hit-scans and THEN explodes.
This last chapter of the subway section gave me some headaches because I couldn't find that one last nuke- it was behind this wall, and before anyone in the comments says I can kick the walls down instead of blowing them up with pipe-bombs, you're right! But blowing shit up is cool, and it's "Duke Nuke 'Em", not "Dick Kick 'Em". JOKE BOSS. Fucking JOKE BOSS over here. A bigger version of a previous enemy that's barely a threat even if you're fighting it on a moving train. Eat the boot! [DUKE] No token, no ride! [CIVVIE] Yeah, 200 EGO from that. Bad ass! "Having swept the subway of mutant goons, Duke decided to cut his commute a little short." "About 287 feet shorter would have been better," "but that would have required math, and Duke didn't have that kind of time."
Yes. I love this game. [DUKE] Ah! I love the smell of sewers in the morning… I bet Morphix is hiding under a turd somewhere. [CIVVIE] Oh, we're in it now. I fucked up and didn't grab this nuke so I gotta restart the level.
The only good thing about this sewer is that you get the RPG here and the sound and the screen effect and the shaking, man. The sewer is where you start seeing these GLOPP pools with eggs in them. The eggs hatch, roaches come out, transform into big roaches, and it requires my favorite activity, which is pipe-bombing. [DUKE] Ooh, that's gonna leave a mark! [CIVVIE] You can't pipe-bomb the other new monster, these flying maggot things that spit THREE pools of GLOPP. Weak, but awful. This isn't the worst part of the game, and it's fine to play usually.
The levels themselves have neat details like trains going by in the background. Anything that blocks your view in the foreground USUALLY won't hide an enemy. Part 2 of this chapter takes you out of the sewer and into an old subway, and this level is cool again. You know what, for making me think I was going to do more sewers and then bringing in the "old abandoned subway station" thing, I'm taking one off the count. Good on you, Sunstorm.
I'm shocked at the number of times this game lets you go on these EGO-fueled rampages. I also really like the way it's technically 2D space but then you run up some stairs and take the fight to another part of the arena, it all works so well. Here's our first giant hit-scan robot, they're fun to blow up. [DUKE] It's gears-dripping time! That's gonna leave a mark! [CIVVIE] And the final part of this chapter takes place in the old subway again. These third parts are a lot quicker and finding the nukes in them is easier. Some enemies will drop them on death for you. Some levels like this have no secrets at all!
Check this out, I have double damage, I have over 300 EGO, and… [DUKE] It's clobbering time! [CIVVIE] Look at that! 400 Super Ego high! Double Damage, 58 ammo, 36 pipe-bombs, 342 GLOPP, weird random number but okay… And I got the last nuke in the level. +1 max pipe-bombs, +10 MAX GLOPP, +5 MAX AMMO, +2 MAX EGO, I feel like I've just leveled-up the Duke! It's so satisfying. This part ends strong too with a boss that isn't a boring larger version of a previous enemy. It's a not-boring larger version of a previous enemy, some kind of roach queen. See, 3D Realms, this is how you do tasteful mutant titties.
Duke isn't talking about fucking motor-boating them and there aren't captive women being impregnated on the ceiling and screaming in agony and shit. Sunstorm ran out of employees and funding five years before 3D Realms did, the world ain't fair man. I go into this with 475 health. The first phase isn't too interesting.
But it's not over, she's coming after the train you're on, knocking cars off, backing you into a corner until… [DUKE] Looks like you've gotten ahead of yourself there! End of the line! Last stop: total destruction! [CIVVIE] Oh yeah, we crash a fucking train in this game, and we kill a boss with it, this might be the high point of the game. Followed by the low point. *Manhattan Grabbag ends* [DUKE] Jeez, you'd think Morphix could afford a few light bulbs! [CIVVIE] This is Manhattan Project's worst chapter. While it's not terrible, it is really dark, filled with copy-pasted environments that are confusing and difficult to navigate, and the whole thing doesn't seem to fit.
It's like an "underground GLOPP factory" but it feels like it doesn't belong here. Like they could have put this later in the game but it wasn't as good as the later levels so Sunstorm decided to slap it in here to make the pacing of their ending chapters better. This is the halfway point in the game, chapter 5 of 8, and it has the worst elements of the sewers, that being the overabundance of glowing green death pools… Walking into these dark hallways will transfer you to another area of the level and these will send you up or down or you'll go down, and then come out on the top I hate it and searching for the final nuke in these levels made me want to die.
If I wanted to be confused and bored, I would get a real job. Yeah, see that? That sign makes me feel like I'm back working for some shitty company that would steal my organs if they were willing to pay the medical bills for stealing my organs. [DUKE] I can do this all day. It's a good day to die! [CIVVIE] The only thing this chapter introduces is the pulse cannon, your seventh weapon, which uses GLOPP way better than the anti-GLOPP gun. It's a powerful energy weapon that you can rapid fire by spamming the shoot button.
You can also charge it but that's not as fun. It's still pretty cool though. The boss of this section is a giant rat that is boring and sucks. NEXT! *Manhattan Grabbag ends* [DUKE] I need to get inside Morphix's tanker and find out where all this GLOPP is going.
[CIVVIE] That's the end of the really boring stuff. The docks are a little uneventful. The first part of this chapter doesn't even spend the whole level there. Halfway through, it switches to being on a boat. This game can't stop making me feel like a badass, which is really all I want out of a Duke Nukem game. [CIVVIE] The reward of having all of this health stored up, even as it's ticking down during overcharge, and then grabbing another giant health pickup and painting the walls with anything nearby, it's so good! On the ship, there's a lot of jumping around the cargo bay and, because this is still a platformer: some ice bullshit.
[DUKE] I don't remember buying tickets to "Mutants on Ice." Rest in pieces! [CIVVIE] You have to really get into this frozen cargo to get all the nukes, and that presents a problem. The slippery ice physics can make double-jumping almost impossible so you could be stuck here a while. One big room. That's it. There's no more ice bullshit and I like the rest of this section on the tanker a lot actually.
The second level starts in this area and the devs like to play with your perspective and camera angles sometimes to really cool effect. This camera with the shot of the rats on the floor is cool. What is that, a mine? Is that- OH GOD NO! I think I only saw two of those in the entire game but they'll keep you on your toes. Homing missiles are easier to avoid when you don't have a low ceiling. [DUKE] You are the missing link, goodbye. [CIVVIE] This cargo ship sure has a lot of cargo bays.
The fucking intermission screen is a cargo bay. But not the third level of the chapter, which might be my favorite in the game. I don't know why but I love the perspective here, where the camera is rotating around this area while you're making your way through it. Kinda feels like a classic Duke Nukem II level except everything is right there. It's a short and brutal bit right before the boss of this chapter who is so forgettable that as I'm writing this, I forget what it is, and I played this yesterday. Oh, it's the little maggot, except sometimes invisible and bigger and with more health, and I kill it so fast I don't even go for the ammo and health below.
Oh well. [DUKE] You're going down faster than the XFL! *Super Mario Bros. 3 Sky Land Theme* Morphix and his GLOPP ring are going down faster than Enron! [CIVVIE] This is where all that toxic goo is being shipped.
It's a cool, atmospheric oil rig level with rain and thunder and static water. A lot of cool details in the environment and lighting effects. The second section isn't as good and reminds me a little of the GLOPP factory, and then there's these drills you need to platform on that spin for a whole 16 seconds before stopping again that grind the level to a dead stop wherever they are.
It's short enough, eight minutes and we're back outside for the chapter's finale. The pacing of these last chapters is super tight. I almost never feel like the game is wasting my time. Look at this, they've even put a switch puzzle in! We're still saving a babe in every level! [BABE] Duke! What can I do to thank you? [DUKE] I go where I please… and I please where I go! [CIVVIE] Good line, Duke, excellent form. 10/10.
They've run out of shitty bosses so we're gonna have to settle for this super-fembot. [SUPER-FEMBOT] Hmm… what a delightful specimen. I'd love to see what you're made of. [DUKE] I always said, if there's a way to go, it would have something to do with women, whips, and oil! [CIVVIE] It's 2022, kids, which means Duke Nukem hasn't had a line that good in two decades! This boss is even somewhat of a challenge because she's a little too tall to easily double-jump over, meaning you have to properly maneuver and get your hits in while she's rolling and whipping. And explosive weapons are tough to use because she's always right in your face. They've put thought and effort into this that bosses in Duke Nukem games usually don't have.
Not only is this a better boss fight than the three-tittied alien in DNF, it's also way hotter. We're cutting that last line, right? Katie, we're cutting that last line, right? [DUKE] Oh well, looks like I've broken another woman's heart. I'll bet this teleporter is an express delivery to Morphix! Well I've got a special package, and I'm gonna make him sign for it! [CIVVIE] And now, we must go where every Duke Nukem game eventually ends up… *Tim Curry breathes heavily, very close to bursting out in laughter, while Manhattan Grabbag's volume increases* [ANATOLY CHERDENKO] Space! *Manhattan Grabbag ends* [DUKE] Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of Duke Nukem. My continuing mission: to explore strange new babes, to seek out new aliens and kick their asses.
[CIVVIE] I wish I could say it's the best section of the game but it's not! The low-gravity is something you have to get used to with the double-jumping, there's laser traps and heavily armored robots everywhere, and the game pulls the "take all your weapons away" thing. [FEMALE A.I.] Weapons detected and neutralized. Have a nice day. [CIVVIE] Funny story about that: you get them back almost immediately and your pistol is good enough to get you through most of the rest of the game, in fact, that was a thing I was gonna do when I first started trying to make this video forever ago. I skipped getting my weapons back and went to the next level, a thing the game lets you do, and then I got to the final boss, and while I probably could have beaten him with the pistol, it would have been a cool thing I could have done, but then I abandoned it to go make some other video, and my save file got lost. So my plan to "go back and get all the other nukes later" went right out the window.
Yes, you all could have had a Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project video like a year ago. But other things complicated that. I'll tell you in a bit, I've still got a game to beat.
The second map of this is five copy-pasted areas linked by one giant platforming challenge that didn't give me much trouble until the fifth part. You have to go into five different labs and shut them down. To get to them you have to jump on platforms that don't always sync up too well and so I keep trying to jump onto this one so I can get to lab. It was a slog, and you know, whatever, all the nukes get dropped by enemies in this level so you don't need to really look for them.
Save a babe, get a key, proceed to the final level. It's better than the last one, if a little heavy on robots and laser traps and laser traps that spawn robots that you need to activate so those robots drop nukes so you can get all ten I'll save you some time, there's two right before the final boss so you should have eight before heading in there. It takes 4 kicks, four boots to the mech face, to take down one of these larger robots, which seems like not very much.
I think Duke's kick gets more powerful the longer the franchise goes on, until DNF obviously. I take a 40 point hit from its gun and get a 30 point boost for kicking it to death. It's time for the final showdown against Morphix, three phases of platformy goodness, which I walk into with a 400-point super-ego high because fuck yeah I do.
[MORPHIX] You've finally met your match this time, Nukem! *Civvie bursts out laughing* [CIVVIE] OH YEAH, this guy, who exists as an antagonist for one side game in the series, is gonna take down the Duke… If you're so great, why did you build a robot that's a giant version of Duke and not a giant version of you? I remember the eyeball monsters from Duke Nukem II more than you. You've been in this game less than The King's Noodle. I called Heskel in Ion Fury a "dime store Doctor Proton" and you're less than that, you Five Below Bitch. [DUKE] This is it. Let's you and me finish off this bastard once and for all!
[CIVVIE] Hell yeah, Duke. One more ride. One more ass-kicking, whiskey-chugging, King-of-the-motherfucking-world Duke Nukem adventure. We're not gonna fight him, kids, we're gonna kick his ass.
[DUKE] Let's rock. Looks like your hardware's gone a little soft, Morphix! [CIVVIE] Yeah, you've used that one already, Duke. [DUKE] Looks like your hardware's gone a little soft, Morphix! [CIVVIE] But it was good, I mean, he re-used a line too! [MORPHIX] Lucky shot, Nukem! But your luck's about to run out! [CIVVIE] And for beating the game on Hard, and getting all the nukes, we are awarded with… the X3000, the eighth weapon! An overpowered one-hit- hand-of-Zeus-lightning gun. Getting all the nukes on Easy gives you double kick damage. On Medium you take half-damage, kinda boring.
But on HARD? You get this baby. [DUKE] Clean up on aisle four! [CIVVIE] What a game. What a nice but unexpectedly fun final ride for old Duke, hell if it ended here, it would be like coming full circle back to his roots.
That's how I see it anyway. So, you remember how I mentioned that I'd tried to make this video before. Twice, actually. See, after I lost my save file, I still had footage of 90% of this game, which, whatever, I ended up deleting when I decided to do a fresh playthrough for this video. But one of my patrons actually had a completed save file they offered up so that I could show you guys the X3000 and so I wouldn't have to go back and get all the nukes again and I thought, yeah, that would be cool.
Didn't exactly work out though. And that… is because of Wozma. Wozma is the best kept secret in any Duke Nukem game. I didn't even know about Wozma until doing research for a Manhattan Project video over a year ago. So this valued patron had sent me a save file where Wozma was already beaten and I couldn't fight them again. I'd never even seen Wozma. To get there, you have to beat the game on Hard, collect all the nukes, get the X3000, which, by the way, has no effect on Wozma, then replay the last level again, collect all the nukes in that level, get to the end, and then press down on an unmarked path.
There's almost no way you'd discover this on your own, and I knew, the moment I read about it, that the five people who know about Wozma would be all up in my comments saying: [whiny lisping nerd voice] "Pro Nukem, Civvie? YOU DIDN'T EVEN FIGHT WOZMA!" [normal] when the "Pro series" is usually the best when I'm getting rekt by an unreasonably difficult video game, [It's a hornet, Civvie] or like in Pro Wang when I got killed by a bee, that was the best shit I always thought. But no, I have to do this, I have to show everyone this deeply buried bit of Duke Nukem content, this series' best kept secret, and unlike most people, I'm gonna do it in widescreen. That does matter because there is a perfect place in this arena to fight him, right here.
He's got three attacks, tossing explosive barrels at you, shooting balls of GLOPP at you, and the worst, homing missiles. This area right here on this platform, the barrels and the GLOPP won't hit you. The homing missiles can be avoided if you wait for them to get very close, and then they'll really lock on, speed up, and fly completely straight, at which point you can dodge them perfectly. He's got a ton of health and you've got infinite ammo.
It took me one try, learning his patterns, and about nine minutes but I did it, This arena is a little more zoomed out than it used to be because of the increased FOV so you can actually see him from this part of the map. And like that, he's dead. And you're back on Morphix's space station, like nothing happened.
I guess I'll go kill Morphix again. [MORPHIX] You've finally met your match this time, Nukem! *Manhattan Grabbag*