Gunman Chronicles

Gunman Chronicles is a first person shooter developed by Rewolf Software and published by Sierra. It is based off the same engine as used in Half-Life. Originally starting development as a mod, it grew to the point that Sierra hired the developers for an official release.

Its standout feature was the enormous amount of Secondary Fire options: Rather than simply giving Secondary Fire, each weapon had anywhere from three or four to dozens or hundreds of configurations for fire modes. For a good starting impression, the standard Pistol you began the game with had enough modes to essentially double as Sniper Rifle, machine pistol and Shotgun. Most other weapons were considerably more complicated...

In the main portion of the game, a set of space rangers - a military-type group consisting of a uniform similar to Space Cowboys, fight against a renegade faction of space rangers also wearing similarly-styled uniforms, Robots controlled by a rather aggressive AI and rather bizarre alien creatures. Oh, and Dinosaurs are also thrown into the mix.

This work provides examples of:

  • AI Is A Crap Shoot: Played straight, but she eventually allies with the player to eliminate the greater threat.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The giant worms / snakes that show up in the intro video.
  • Enemy Mine: The Mainframe Control Computer eventually joins up with you first to escape the planet alive and then to stop the greater threat of the General and his Xenos. Interersting because it was you who doomed the planet to destruction in the first place, even intentionally so
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The first planet is primarily a dinosaur world, including large Triceratopsi, small Compsognati and Raptors and a gigantic Sauropod.
  • Hyperspace: Known as Kata-Space.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The Final Boss. You need to protect the AI as she attacks - but she can sometimes hide behind a wall/crate, resulting in a Stalemate.
  • Secondary Fire: Taken to insane levels: Rather than Secondary Fire, weapons have anywhere between a handful of firing modes and in some cases dozens or even hundreds of possible combinations. At the bottom end, you have the Pistol with four modes and the Machine Gun with two modes, one upgrade and accidental overheat mode. At the top end, the chem-gun has 5 to the power of 4, or 625 possible settings by combining different amounts of Acid, Base and Water at different pressure (trajectory). The remaining weapons are somewhere in between.
  • Short Range Shotgun: Played straight and subverted at the same time: Maximum spread will make it short range, while minimum spread will make it efficient and precise even at longer distances.
  • Silicon-Based Life: They can't digest carbon life forms, though that doesn't stop them from trying to eat them
  • Space Western