Video Game: Hacx

Hacx: Twitch 'n' Kill is a cyberpunk-themed First-Person Shooter, initially released by Banjo Software in 1997 as a commercial Total Conversion for Doom II.

The development of the game was notably rushed with the intent of seeing a release before id Software's Quake. The result was an Obvious Beta of varying quality throughout its 21 levels (ranging from abysmal to above average by Doom mapping standards), with the final map ending on a Knee Deep in the Dead-style Cliff Hanger. The game still missed the deadline and as a result, ended up selling poorly - being overshadowed by Quake's far more advanced 3D engine.

Regardless, work began on a sequel titled "Hacx 2 3D", which started development on the id Tech 2 Game Engine, but then saw desperate shifts to the Unreal and Genesis3D engines before the inability to find a publisher put both the project and Banjo Software itself to rest.

In 2005, Rich Johnston (aka Dr. Nostromo), a former Banjo Software member, released the full add-on as freeware - but that's not all, in 2009, prolific Doom modder Xaser, with support from Nostromo, started an official fan project to "finish" the rushed game. From version 1.2 and onwards, the game's most infamous bugs were fixed, and it was made into stand-alone game, meaning it can be played by itself on the ZDoom source port without requiring a copy of Doom II.

You can download it here

This game provides examples of

  • All There in the Manual: Much like Doom, the backstory is never explained within the game itself.
  • Cyberspace: Several levels take place here, much of them being surreal in design.
  • Easy Level Trick: MAP16 ("Protean Cybex") can be completed in a split-second. The exit switch is hidden in the floor, and is supposed to rise out after you trigger four switches throughout the level. However, the pseudo-3D Doom engine does not take the Z dimension into account when deciding whether a switch is in the player's reach, so if you simply face towards where the switch is and press the Use key, the level ends.
  • Megacorp: Genemp Corporation, among others.
  • Shout-Out: A few here and there.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Not too surprising, as this game was a mod for Doom - the game that codified this trope. The fan-updated version (Hacx 2.0) has made efforts to subvert this though, such as turning the formerly shotgun-like Tazer into a mini BFG-like weapon.
  • Twenty Minutes into the Future
  • What Could Have Been
    • Hacx was originally going to have 32 levels, but it was cut down due to time constraints.
    • Hacx 2 3D. Nostromo's history page about this project is an outright embodiment of this trope in web-page form.