Video Game: Naferia's Reign: Invasion of the Dark Mistress
Holy hell, those aliens are huge!
''"No hero or villain, no matter how cool, powerful, talented, skilled or charasmatic can do everything all by themself. Even they eventually hit their limits, whether it be the limit of their patience or the limit of their skill, power and talent..."'
Naferia's Reign: Invasion of the Dark Mistress is a Gaming Modification for Duke Nukem 3D, made by Jack Walker, also known by some as Lord Misfit in certain circles, and also the creator of a fanfiction Mega Crossover known as The Misfits. The modification is a sort of in-progress mega-enhancement to the Duke Nukem 3D game, which is also intended to have a storyline of immense proportions (at least according to the creator's words).The modification's greatest boasts thus far is likely the inclusions of tons of RPG Elements in a First-Person Shooter of the BUILD-engine era. Leveling your characters, multiple types of stats can increase with level-ups (HP, Armor Points, Energy Points, Attack, Defense, Speed, jumping strength, # of jumps, Underwater Breathing Time, Grappling time, etc.). Further more, instead of just playing as Duke Nukem himself, the player can also find or attain up to fourteen more characters, all of whom have their own abilities and skills (but not yet weapons, due to staffing limitations for the author right now). Even more RPG-like with the many characters is that unlike most class-based FPS games, you can switch back and forth between the characters you've found, as if they're in a full-blown RPG-style party, instead of using only one character from start to finish.The (assumed) storyline of the game is not widely known all too well by the public, but the assumption is that the name of "Naferia" in the title is also likely the titular "Dark Mistress" and the main villainess, whom all the player characters have to eventually find and stop before she can do something to threaten the world. Yeah, as we said, not much is known of the plot yet, although there is apparently a large document on the creator's computer which has a lot of the spoilers and information about said story, but it's pretty obvious that if he were to release it, the game would be heavily spoiled already. It's also assumed the aliens from Duke Nukem 3D are still the main race of baddies, since the mod is for that game.Much like the creator's fanfiction work, The Misfits, Naferia's Reign is also a Crossover of many mediums, including (of course) Duke Nukem, but also Shadow Warrior, a lesser known game also made by the same creators as Duke Nukem 3D, whose main character is also a playable character in this mod. Additionally combined is the Bubsy series, with the title character also being a main character as well. Another series included is the Sailor Moon series, with two of the Inner Sailor Senshi (Ami and Minako respectively) being playable characters as well. Another included series is the EarthBound series (with Paula from the second game being the player character that appears in the mod, and with the ATM account of Ness appearing as an easter egg). The final element includes some examples of Real Life, as the character of Jack is actually based off a 13-year old counterpart of the creator [however like Clint, his Misfits counterpart, Jack has no Gary Stu qualities and is more of a Side Kick at times to certain characters, despite also being a playable character himself].Two or three more of the characters are actually Expies of some of the types of aliens seen in the original Duke Nukem 3D, such as ESSence [a Battlelord (the first boss) Expy] and Cybanis [a Cycloid-Emperor (the third boss) Expy], while Nethra is an Expy of the Protector Drones from the expansion pack of Duke Nukem 3D (when she's in that form, and not her human alter-ego Christina Mitchell). And finally toping out the characters are Ted, Lisa, Lori, the "Mysterious Lady", and Maken, all of whom are not taken from a game or series of their own.The current version is 5.22, released on December 24, 2012.Mostly-Unmarked spoilers below.
This mod features the following tropes:
Amplifier Artifact: The "Badge" equippable items are in a sense like this. There are badges for Experience points, Rank points, and even Money gains. Each badge essentially adds 2 to a multiplier of it's respective stat type when you get said stats, up to 8 times for having the maximum of four of a single type of badge equipped. This can be used to quickly increase EXP, Rank or Money in a tight spot if these items are available.
Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Subverted for the most part, as in that you can have all fifteen of the modification's playable characters at once in the same party for maximum capability. However it is played straight [maybe?] in the aspect that you can only have one character actively fighting/taking-damage/interacting-with-things at a time, and that if one character is killed, it changes over to a random still-living character in the team.
EXP is shared with non-active party members in a similar manner to Chrono Trigger however, with the non active characters getting a difficulty level-determined fraction of the active character's EXP reward.
Armor-Piercing Attack: Maken's "Triad Blitzkrieg" skill, which is self-use only, allows any attack of hers to ignore 3/4s of an enemy's defense stat. Paired with her "Triad Booster" skill [which can be used on any character and adds a hidden +20% to the Attack and Defense of the affected character], Maken can quick wreck a ton of havoc on even the strongest of enemies.
The "Serpent Helmet" equippable item also will "scare enemies", cutting their effective defense against the wearer's attacks by 1/2 it's current amount for each one equipped. Four of them equipped on the same character means only 1/16 of most enemies' defense stat is of any use against the character's attacks [further decreased if combined with a Triad Blitzkrieg-using Maken]. It is stated that "Elite" level enemies and "Boss" class monsters aren't as affected by the Serpent Helmets as normal enemies however, although Triad Blitzkrieg still works equally against "Elite" and "Boss" class monsters.
Attack Reflector: Three methods. The first and most prominent is when any player or character is under the effect of the Icon of the Defender, which causes all damage to the user to be blocked and deflected instantly back to the attacker with no chance to evade or way to defend from any of the reflected damage. This often causes players to get their current character badly hurt or killed by shooting (not usually known) invulnerable enemies with strong attacks.
The "Mirror Shield" equippable item is a more balanced item. Having one equipped on a character cuts damage to them by 50% and instantly deflects the blocked damage back to the attacking enemy with no chance of this evading or defending from it. A second mirror shield will cut damage to the charater by a total of 75% and deflects that much back. A third mirror shield jacks it up to 87.5% protection, etc. This can be done up to 4 times, for a 93.75% damage protection/deflection rate.
Lori's "Triad Refractor" starts of like a "buff" version of the Mirror Shield which only she can use [and she can stack it with 1-4 mirror shields for even more damage protection/deflection], but it has the addition effect of deflecting extra damage back to the attacking enemy as Lori's level gets higher.
Auto-Revive: It's extremely hard to come upon for most players who have plenty of resurrective items, but if the "Mysterious Woman" is killed and stays dead for 10 in-game minutes without a Total Party Kill occuring, she will automatically resurrect herself... somehow. This still doesn't really explain much about who she's supposed to be though.
Bag of Holding: One of the RPG Elements of Naferia's Reign includes an inventory system that basically functions this way. You can hold a seemingly unlimited amount of many types of items to be used on characters later when needed, including health items, armor items, copies of the original Duke Nukem 3D inventory items like Jetpacks, etc, various equippable items, and other stuff.
Boss in Mook Clothing: "Elite" monsters are buffed up versions of any possible monster in the entire game, be they normally a normal mook or a boss-level creature, or even the super-boss types like Elimination Squad Soldiers. They are distinguished by having a nuclear plate symbol next to their HP and AP lifebars. They usually have four times the HP, AP, double the Attack and Defense, and such of a normal variant of a monster for their current level. They also have a 50-75% natural resistance to damage, and they always deal a bonus 25-50% damage on the player regardless of their resistances and defense. They also null half of any deflected damage from Lori's "Triad Refractor" or the "Mirror Shield" equippable item. They give about 4 to 8 times more experience and rank points for their troubles though.
Brainy Brunette: According to the various bits of known info in character biographies and item descriptions, Lisa is essentially one of these in additional to being a part-time teen fashion model. Examples include that of her self-made "Biocellular Energy Shield" (see below) is a powerful body-tight energy shield that provides a second layer of protection for her from damage (on top of Armor points). The Word of God document on the author's hard drive appearantly will have more information on this and many other things storyline and character related down the road. Additionally, in a more recent version of the game soon to be released, she can use Money and some of her Energy Points to repair broken vending machines and broken ATM machines (which are usable features in the mod).
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Pausing the game will put up a text box with the current character's portrait and them saying one of five randomly selected quotes [per character], all of them spoken directly to the player.
Additionally, Lisa and Maken's lines come with actual voice files that are heard along with these quotes [although it's assumed once a stable set of voice actors are found for the other characters it will apply to the rest of them as well].
And the "Mystery Woman"'s "quotes" are just text descriptions of various emotes like shifty-eyes [<_<, >_>], googly eyes[O_O], Xs for eyes[X_X] and similar stuff right now. Why she has no actual quotes yet is a mystery.
Bulletproof Vest: Armor in Naferia's Reign is improved from the original Duke Nukem 3D in that like HP, it is now an exact numeric value, called "Armor Points" (or "AP"). An additional factor in this is "Armor Absorbsion %", or "AB%", which determines how much of the damage from an attack is taken by the armor worn instead of the character's HP. There are multiple types of armor items that can set different level of AB% or even one type of Armor known simply as "Super Armor" which gives you up to 200% AP [like a Blue Combat-Armor item in the Doom series]. AB% can also go up to a full 100% (and is always set to this when someone is under the effects of the "Shield Emblem" regenerative power-up). Do keep in mind due to "Fake Difficulty" below, monsters can equally use Armor the way a player character does, and it gives them much more survivablity, especially on the harder Difficulty Levels.
A secondary change to armor in the modification is the appearance of the "Armor"-type items, in that they have four different sprites to represent them, depending on if you're using any human-sized male, a female character in general [all are human-sized], one specfically for ESSence's size, and one specfically for Cybanis's size. This does not actually affect which types of characters or monsters can grab the armor items, it just adds a scope of variety to the item's appearance.
Catch Your Death of Cold: Naferia's Reign has a system where a level designer can creating environments that can slowly or quickly freeze both players, NPCs and non-mechanical monsters to death. The player has a meter called "WARM" that will deplete when exposed to cold environments, and every time it hits 0%, the character in question will take a low but random % of cold-elemental damage and "WARM" resets to 100%, all the way to the point of death. There is an item called "Winter Suit" which can work to reduce exposure to the cold and damage from it as well, however it slowly diminishes away as it takes damage, and it slows down the wearer by about 10% and slightly limits their maximum jumping strength. The clothes are represented by a meter marked "COZY".
Due to "Fake Difficulty", monsters and NPCs of course have these vulnerabilities to the cold, and the ability to use Winter Clothing of their own. Mechanical monsters don't suffer from cold environments however.
Fire, steam, heated damaging floors and anything you'd expect to give off heat will replenish a player/NPC/monster's "WARM" counter when within range of it. Getting hit by explosives will also bump an entity's "WARM" meter up as well.
A primary example: Duke can lift and press weights between 600 and 800 pounds, an impressive feat considering he's supposed to be more or less a Badass Normal with no (visible) magic, Psychic Powers, Ki Attacks or other such mystical abilities.
Lo Wang is also very similar to Duke, being able to lift and press 550 to 850 pounds. It's believed his more unordodox training as a master-class Shadow Warrior has some responsibility for this though, since Lo Wang shows at least better understanding and usage of the supernatural aspects of the world than Duke.
Lori is also very damn close to Duke and Lo Wang's lifting range, at 600 to 750 pounds of lift and press. She's much much slimmer than either one and has pretty much no muscular build or tone to her at all. She does have the mysterious force of "Triad Magic" at her beck and call, but none of her current abilities seem to alter her actual physical strength, and on that note, she doesn't have a great defense compared to either Duke or Lo Wang.
Christina (Nethra's human-form alter-ego) also has a similar strength range to Duke, Lo Wang and Lori, at 600 to 675 pounds of lift and press, and on top of that, she seems to have the weapon-mold of a Kick Chick in mind for her in the future, so you can do the math on this one. On the flipside however, when in "Nethra" mode, her lift strength is at only 375 to 420 pounds lift and press, probably due to her alien-like figure being a lot more slender and frail looking compared to her "Christina" form.
Lisa is another Badass Normal type characrer like Duke with no real known mystical or supernatural abilities, and has a pretty high lifting strength of her own, in the range of 305 to 355 pounds of lift and press, which puts her at almost the same strength as her friend Ted, while at a smaller and more slender build than him. On top of it, it's suggested she's a at least a 20-dan black belt in Karate on top of it.
Maken also has a pretty impressive lift and press strength of her own, at 450 and 525 pounds. Like Lori, she also possesses Triad Magic, and there is a slight possibility the strength boost might originate from it, due to the existance of a skill that can increase Attack and Defense temporarily.
Jack can lift or press between 200 and 240 pounds.
Bubsy can lift or press between 250 and 300 pounds.
Ami can lift or press between 180 and 220 pounds.
ESSence can lift or press between 2,800 and 3,400 pounds. Due to his alien origins and size, it makes decent sense for him though.
Cybanis is even better off, and can lift or press between 12,000 and 14,000 pounds, and this is stated due to his clawed cybernetic arms giving him a large boost in strength. He's roughly 3,000 to 3,500 if he somehow were to lose them.
Ted can lift or press between 335 and 370 pounds.
Paula can lift or press between 195 and 235 pounds.
Minako can lift or press between 230 and 270 pounds.
These values are listed in specfics since they actually play a part in the game (a random number in the listed ranges are chosen for each character on start up of a new game), since there are various "liftable" and "movable" objects which are affected by the physical strength level of the character in use. Characters will either push, pull, grab, or even lift various objects over their head, the later two uses allowing the character to toss said objects across rooms or even at enemies to deal some damage. Various items like the "Hyper Wrist" equippable item, the "Vitamin X", among others, can be used to temporarily increase a character's lifting/pressing strength.
Classic Cheat Code: Not counting the cheat codes from the original Duke Nukem 3D, there are multiple new codes in Naferia's Reign which are usually done by holding down more than one button and then pressing another button.
When in the main in-game menus (the ones with characters, items, support submenus, etc), holding down the "FIRE" key and then shifting up or down a submenu will enter a cheating submenu with tons of options, including the means to controllably change your current group of characters, infinite one-time powerup cheats (Quad Damage, Icon of the Defender, etc), a "give 25 of most items" cheat, a "max equipment slots" cheat which overrides the difficulty level-determined number of equipment slots for each character to the max of 4, an "infinite EP/no EP use" cheat, an "instant ATM" cheat, an "instant Shop" cheat, a "Damage x 1000" cheat, a "Damage / 1000" cheat, a "Kill all Enemies" cheat, three buttons for spawning an empty and drivable Riot Tank of all three varities, an "Infinite Ammo" cheat, and various others.
When in the items submenu, holding down the "FIRE" and "ALT-FIRE" buttons will allow you to drop an "8X" version of any item you can drop on the ground out of your inventory, instead of a normal "1X" (in otherwords, the pickup will be worth at least 8 of that item instead of 1, giving you a huge item profit).
When in a shop menu, holding down the "FIRE" and "ALT-FIRE" buttons will either make any and all buyable items 100% free to buy in the "Buy" submenu, or make it that you will never decrement any items you sell in the "Sell" submenu.
When logged into a character's ATM account, holding down the "FIRE" and "ALT-FIRE" buttons while making confirmations in various modes (withdrawing, depositing, wiring) will either not decrement the money in the character's account, but still give you a "copy" of the withdrawn money [in "withdraw" mode] (note you still can't withdraw more money than a character has through this), or not decrement from any of your on-hand money and deposit a "copy" of your money into the character's account [in "deposit" mode] (again, you still can't deposit more than you have on-hand), or wire a "copy" of the amount intended to another character's account [for wire mode] (again, you cannot wire more money than the wiring character has in his/her account to the wire-ee).
Death Is Cheap: A character who HP is reduced to 0 is considered to be actually "Dead", not just unconscious [at least according to various information in game]. However the "Resurrection Chalice" is specfically intended to revive any dead characters, making this trope apply pretty well.
Also, Christina/Nethra has the "Lesser/Greater Resurrection" skills, allowing her to do the same thing as the chalice, but for an EP cost instead of using up an item.
Deflector Shields: Lisa's "Bio-Cell Energy Shield" is a very fail-proof version of this. Appearing as a blue oval, dogtag-like charm on a necklace physically, it utilizes a strange type of energy cells to create a skin-tight shield around Lisa that when turned on will prevent any damage normally dealt to her health or armor as long as the cellular energy is high enough to blunt the whole attack, with one or two exceptions [falling damage is only reduced by 1/3 to 2/3s by the shield and the rest is still dealt to Lisa's HP, and drowning underwater is not blocked at all by the shield].
Degraded Boss: Played with, maybe or maybe not fully straight. The original four bosses of Duke Nukem 3D: the Battlelord, Overlord, Cycloid Emperor and the Alien Queen (the full-sized, end-of-episode versions, not any of their mini-boss cousins), can now be used en mass in any map or setting via proper map settings to the point they do not end the episode or level when killed (which in the original game they would do to end the episode), allowing for both the large and mini versions of these four bosses to hinder a player's progress, or for a player to fight multiple large bosses at a time (of the same type of enemy and or multiple types of big bosses) for a tough and hellish battle.
Determinator: Taking a page from Earthbound, characters have an unlisted stat that determines the chances that they can take an other wise fatal hit of damage and survive with 1 HP remaining [and giving them a 1.5 second period of Mercy Invincibility to get away or heal themselves before they can be damaged again]. This can be increased by various items or equippable items, or as level-ups occur, but it will never hit a full "100%", in order to prevent a character from becoming effectively immortal to any damage they receive.
In very recent versions of the modification, enemies have this same stat, allowing them to occasionally survive fatal hits as well, also left with 1 HP remaining, even hits from the Icon of the Defender's instant-killing aura. They also have a 1.5 second period of Mercy Invincibility when this happens, and their sprites will flicker like in classic platformer games during said 1.5 seconds. Unlike playable characters, they cannot use items that artifically extend their rate of surviving fatal hits, although higher level monsters have higher survivability rates.
Difficulty Levels: Oh dear god, there's TEN of these, compared to the usual four that Duke Nukem 3D has. One of them is Easier Than Easy with five others Harder than the hardest difficulty in the original game.
Additionally, taking after Blood in some respects, Naferia's Reign changes the utilization of difficulty levels beyond just the number of enemies seen in each map, it makes each enemy's stats higher or lower for their current level depending on the easyness or hardness of the difficulty level, meaning on the lowest setting almost none of the monsters can really hurt you much and usually have the defense of a wet paper towel, while on the hardest setting, even the lowly Assault Troopers can have a monster-load of HP for their current level and do 30-40% of a character's HP in damage with one shot, if not MORE due to other reasons.
More examples: The harder the difficulty, the more like monsters will activate with various powerups and inventory items on their persons, including Atomic Health [aka monsters with over 100% of their max HP], various and increasing amounts of Armor Points, the Portable Medikit, the Protective Boots, and Scuba Gear, as well as the five specialized powerups, and God help you if they wake up with an Icon of the Defender active.
Double Jump: In this game, they're called "Airjumps", and it's possible to air jump more than once per character. All fifteen of the playable characters will gain the ability to multi jump as they gain levels. The Mysterious Woman starts off with one airjump to her name immediately. Additionally, there is a bonus item that gives whoever grabs it a permenant airjump extension of 1.
Do Not Run with a Gun: Inverted by the Super Drone and in a specfic case, Riot Tanks/Scorpion Tanks on Difficulty Levels 5 through 9. The Super Drone will rip at anything in front of it with constant laser fire, and the occasional rockets, meanwhile the Riot Tanks on the higher half of the difficulty spectrum become very hellish to deal with since they can also turn around actively while shooting at you, when players can take some opportunity on the weaker Difficulty Levels to get behind them to activate their self-destruct buttons.
Emergency Energy Tank: Although almost any healing or armor-giving item can now be stored away if the character in use has enough HP/AP that they don't need to immediately use these items on the spot, there are at least two items that in effect still serve a close enough parallel to this: the "Super Atom" and the "Hyper Energy Drink". The Super Atom will set one character's HP, AP, and First Aid HP to 200% of their maximums, and set their AB% to 95-100%. The "Hyper Energy Drink" sets one character's EP to 200%.
The Hyper Energy Drink takes the appearance of an "E-Tank" from the Mega Man series in addition to this, making it a somewhat literal version of this trope, even though it doesn't heal HP in this game.
"Fake Difficulty": If the RPG elements and the multi-characters system are considered by some to be a main feature of the modification, then this would be the one of the secondary main features. How it's executed in Naferia's Reign is that one major change is that most monsters and NPCs are given more fair shakes compared to the player. A major example is that in the original Duke Nukem 3D, monsters had no Armor stat, they could not use items like health or inventory items to their advantage, but additionally, they could never drown underwater or be damaged by hazardous floors or long falls [the player could be harmed or killed by these methods though].
This has been changed on a big level. Monsters and NPCs can use healing-stations on the walls, grab items, including the five major types of powerups [including an Invincibility Power-Up, allowing them to one-hit kill the current character in play by touching them (unless they were also under the effects of the same powerup, rendering both player and monster in a stalemate)]. The monsters can also grab stat-improvement bonuses for most stats, stealing them before a player can grab them for their own use [in fact, the underwater-dwelling Octabrains can steal Scuba Gear to stop the player from using then, even though the Octabrains don't need to use the Scuba Gear themselves]. They can also use Atomic Health to raise their HP above 100% of their maximum, they have their own Armor statistic as well to give them even more survivability in battle [also can be increased to 200% of their Armor Point max via special items], they can also use the Portable Medikit, Protective Boots and Scuba Gear as well. Assault Trooper-based enemies can also consume their jetpack fuel and run out, but make up for it by being able to grab jetpacks lying around on the map.
However in balance for making the monsters more like players in using items, they are rendered vulnerable to drowning [for non-aquatic enemies at least, including the first three types of boss-monsters], falling long distances and taking damage/dying, walking on hazardous lava and slime will damage them, being near electrical reactors also hurts them, and all such things like that. However they can also as mentioned, wear protective boots and scuba gear to combat the drowning and hazardous floor problems [sometimes].
Fashion Magazine: One of several types of "Memorbilia" items, which give Rank points when picked up. In particular, there are five types of actual fashion magazines, all of them from the company "Vauge" [a parody of "Vouge", obviously]. On the cover of these magazines are Christina◊, Lisa◊, Maken◊, Lori◊ and even the "Mysterious Woman"◊. Lisa's makes the most sense in context due to the fact her on-site bio says she has some experience as a teen fashion model.
Also, if you look closely, the name "Hinotori Genkai" is on the cover of the Mysterious Woman's issue. This is a bit confusing since the game otherwise seems to revolve around keeping her name all question marks.
Actually, if you turn the "Debug Variables" on in the in-game "Toggle Menu", the question marks in her name change to "Hinotori Genkai". I guess it has to do with some kind of spoiler for the storyline. What her name really means in context is still totally unknown.
Also, a subversion of this trope is that there is one non-fashion magazine, the "Guns and Weapons" magazine, of which Duke himself is on the cover in a really awesome pose◊. The high-resolution version of the cover also has a couple of clever notes on it.
Fragile Speedster: Paula, much like her role in EarthBound falls perfectly into this. Her HP is barely above 840 at Level 1 [compared to the average-HP characters like Duke and Lo Wang who have about 1500 HP at Level 1. However she has a Level 1 speed of 80 [out of a max of 100 (125 with Haste invoked)], while Duke's speed is 50 at level 1 and Lo Wang's is 65 at level 1. Also, her armor points increase at a much higher rate than her HP, to at times DOUBLE and on extremely rare occasions TRIPLE the amount as her max HP.
Ami is also a bit of a contender for this [her HP is the second lowest after Paula], but her HP is at least around 1000, and her speed is 75 at Level 1, and she has a few near-Game Breaker quirks to her that Paula lacks at most times.
Gadgeteer Genius: As of the recently released 5.20, Lisa can fix and repair vending machines and ATM machines for a cost of some money [or a lot for ATM machines] and about 40 to 50 Energy Points per use, in the off case you or an enemy broke said machines and you still need to use them.
Game Over: In the original Duke Nukem 3D, there was no such concept as a true game over. Getting killed meant either reloading a saved game or starting fresh at the beginning of the level you died in. However Naferia's Reign has it coded specfically that the latter is not an option. Even though one character dying is not [usually] grounds to force a restart or a save-reload, losing your entire party will make a "game over" screen pop up (with Shao Kahn taunting you mercilessly, somehow...), where trying to restart like in the original Duke Nukem 3D will make you go back to the title screen and fully reset your game. This means you have to use save games, and use them well.
However, for some awkward reason, there is a Continue type item in the game that will automatically consume itself to revive your entire party of characters if one or more have been collected when a Total Party Kill occurs, saving the player from a game over. The continue item looks like a spinning arrow in an infinite loop.
Global Currency: Although Duke Nukem 3D is based on a Real Life style of world, the money type in Naferia's Reign is US Dollars. You can have up to 2 Billion dollars on hand, and all 15 of the major characters as well as several [so-far] unseen NPCs in the game have accessible ATM accounts which can also have up to 2 Billion dollars in each.
Grimy Water: The original Duke Nukem 3D has four types of harmful "liquids" [or "damagefloors" as the mod's author tends to call them in Naferia's Reign]. The modification adds five more types of these. Most of them are various-strengthed offshoots of lava, with one also being an upgraded acid-type liquid. Needless to say these new types of lava and acid drain the player's protective boots item much faster, and deal much more damage an interval [and the stronger lava-types damage much more often per instance of game time than the original four types do], causing much pain to the players who get unlucky enough to have to dash across it with no protection.
Of course, due to "Fake Difficulty" above, monsters and NPCs are now just as vulnerable to the damage and effects of all nine types of damaging floors/liquids, and they're generally much more effective on the enemies than players due to many enemy types have less base HP than characters starting at level 1 have.
Additionally, the original nukage and the poisonous purple acid in the original game are upgraded to occasionally poison players and enemies who get damaged in them too often, adding a slight bit of realism to these hazards. It's not known if the newer type of acid can randomly poison or not though.
Additionally, all types of hazards are programmed now in a way that you can submerge into them underwater and still take damage from them like a person probably should. There are also ways to use the game's editor to flag any sector to have the properties of damaging floors/liquids without actually making them look like such, for either certain types of underwater areas or 'disquised' floors to trick the player, or in one example, making constantly electrified water that will hurt you for wading around in it.
Healing Factor: Characters, NPCsand monsters all have this. The effectiveness of said healing-factor depends on either the character in question [for the player], or the level of the entity [for players and monsters alike]. As just mentioned, some characters have faster rates of regeneration, or stronger recovery intervals than others. Duke is the example of a strong recovery interval, while Lisa is an example of a fast rate of regeneration. Note that for player characters this also extends to their Energy Points as well to a lesser degree.
Huge Schoolgirl: The on-site bios give the exact height of all characters. By far the Mysterious Woman is the tallest female character, at 6'3" (6 feet, 3 inches), exactly the same height as Duke Nukem himself is stated. She is also quite slender and considered attractive to many despite this.
The next tallest female is Paula, at a height of 6' even, about the same height as Ted is. She's also petite and slender, but her smaller height doesn't make her stick out quite as much as the Mysterious Woman.
In general, only Ami and Minako are considered around 'average' height out of the 8 female characters (both are 5'5", the same height as a 13 year-old Jack). Maken is 5'7" (16 years old), Lisa is 5'8" (16 years old), Christina is 5'9" (17 years old) and Lori is 5'10" (17 years old). They may or may not grow more in their immediate futures, so you can imagine how some people in their world/universe might react. Of course, most of the game takes place in a Western setting, so it might only effect their travels in Eastern locations.
Hyperactive Metabolism: Boxes of Donuts are an item that once served as merely a destroyable prop in Duke Nukem 3D, but in Naferia's Reign they can actually be consumed for 10% healing in HP. The "pair of donuts" prop from the Atomic Edition of the original game is also now a consumable food item, healing 5% HP per pair of donuts.
Additionally, Cola and Snack vending machines are usuable in the modification by walking up to them and pressing the "use" button now. Cola machines restore 10% HP per drink, for $50 a drink, while Snack Machines restore 5% a snack, for $25 a snack.
The Fortune Cookies from Shadow Warrior also appear in the modification, working exactly as they do in their source game, adding 50% HP to the character, up to 200% HP [actually, Lo Wang will instantly reach 200% HP from a single fortune cookie, even if he had 1 HP before], with up to nearly eighty fortunes to read from, all chosen randomly.
Innocent Bystander: Strippers and other "babes" from the original Duke Nukem 3D are still present, as well as new types of neutral/good NPCs [a good balance of female and male NPCs actually, since no male NPCs every appeared in the original game]. All of them can be rescued by using a "Teleporter Coil" coupled with $100 of the player's money [the money has a teleporter coil placed into it, and is used as a lure to the bystander, since most people will happily take free money], and then the coil teleports the NPC to a EDF-controlled space cruiser, and then the EDF sends back rewards via teleportation to the NPC's former spot, which vary in usefulness, but you also get RANK points for saving people as well. Interestingly, saving animal NPCs [the dogs in Episode 4] give even more RANK than saving humans.
The "Dealer" NPC subverts this as a type of Badass Bystander, refusing to let you teleport him out of danger, and will instead sell items/stuff to you or buy them from you.
A hillarious note is that all these NPCs can pickup items like Health, Armor, stat-increase bonuses, and even the one-time use powerups like the Icon of the Defender or even a Quad Damage, even though they don't move around and never directly attack enemies. If an NPC is holding an Icon of the Defender however, they are fatal on touch to any enemy character who is not holding one themself, but the player is completely safe from them regardless of this, since the NPC considers the player characters friendly to them [an Icon of the Defender's instant-kill aura only kills or hurts those the user considers hostile to them].
Interface Screw: Dimness darkens the player's screen to almost pitch black with a slight pulse of light trying to get through, greatly confusing the character to their surroundings. However the Confusion status is much more dangerous, causing the player's view to turn left and right randomly and nonstop while their vertical view also bobs up and down nonstop, causing a sway in movement very similar to "Shroom Mode" in Rise of the Triad, and making it very hard to move around and fire off weapons, and dangerous when using explosives or area-of-effect attacks.
Luckily, these conditions also have equal effect on monsters, where the enemies will move around in random directions if they're confused, and if dimmed, they have to get in much close to their target to attempt an attack.
Additionally, Lo Wang to anyone else on Earth falls under this since he's a generation before Duke is.
It'll be interesting to know how ESSence and Cybanis intermingle in this manner, since both are even older than Lo Wang by nearly 20 to 25 times his age in human years [both are around 1,000 years old in human lifespan, despite being considered relatively "young" by the aliens' standards]
Invincibility Power-Up: The Icon of the Defender, period. It was made with Mario-style kill-on-touch mechanics in mind. Do note due to "Fake Difficulty" above, enemies can grab these and use them on you just as effectively.
NPCs can also use these, making them stationary instant-death obstacles to enemies (but not the player). A form of Cherry Tapping, especially if the dog NPCs who premired in the original game's expansion pack are using one.
Jump Physics: Each of the fifteen characters have their jumping strengths, measured best in "tics" or "raw time units". Duke Nukem and Lo Wang have the normal amount of 9 tics [average], Bubsy has a very high strength of about 15 tics, while Cybanis has about 5 tics of strength, making his jump very low strength [due to his size and and weight], for example. Some items and conditions can temporarily increase or decrease the strength of each character's jump, such as the "Jump Boots" or "Vitamin X" for increasing height, and being damaged to under 25% of your HP [or worse, less than 10% HP] will weaken your jump strength. Wearing "Winter Clothes" in cold/freezing environments also has a very slight decrement on the character's jumping strength.
Kid-Appeal Character: Jack is the youngest human member of the main characters at only 13 years old, and only Bubsy is physically younger than him [he's 5 human years old, but he's mentally older than Jack]. Despite this, Jack seems to know what he's getting into, and according to the small bits of the known storyline, is there because he truly thinks Duke deserves a break from the constant alien harassment of Earth [and himself], and wants to help Duke stop them once and for all.
His qualities seem to indicate he looks up a bit to Duke [and later Lo Wang] as role models, but in the pure sense of the meaning of standing up for oneself, and not for their more sexual or shady characteristics. He's one of the few characters who seems to think from the get go that Duke's not as hyper-macho all the time as others might be led to think, although Duke would never admit either way to if Jack is right or wrong about it.
Lightning Bruiser: The best example is the "Mysterious Lady", as she has the highest average HP of all characters (10240 HP!), a speed of 75 at level 1, and pretty good and balanced defense and attack as well. She's consider to some players as border-line cheating to use too often, and is best considered an emergency-use character. Doesn't explain in any way who the hell she's supposed to be though.
The next closest to this is Lori. Her HP average starts a bit below-average [about 1100 HP], and she has a high starting attack and a very low starting defense, but as she progresses, her HP average will surpass most of the other non-alien characters' by levels 45 to 55 [even exceeding Duke and Lo Wang's HP levels confortably by Level 100], and her attack will skyrocket along with it. She's not so great at direct defense though even in light of this. Her speed is also pretty good after a point in time as well, even though she's only a bit above average to start off.
Life Meter: All sentient entities [player-characters, NPCs, monsters, etc] will at the least have one or two meters above their heads during game play. The top one is red and light red, representing their HP, the bottom one is green and light green, representing their Armor Points (AP). Additionally, Player-Characters and monsters have extra attachments to this, including a star [or in rare cases, a nuclear symbol] to the left of their bars, indicating of their rough level in increments of 10, from a light blue being less than level 11, to a variant of bright green indicating they're at the maximum level of 100.
If the icon is a nuclear symbol, it means the entity is an "Elite" monster, making them even tougher than a normal counterpart of their species at their particular level [4x more HP/AP, double Attack/Defense, extra damage resistance, extra damage infliction to players, 4x times longer powerup durations for any they have when they activate, etc]. And finally above the HP meter can appear a row of icons, representing the five one-time powerups like the Quad Damage, Icon of the Defender, the Regeneration Ankh, the Shield Emblem or the Vampire Mask, to warn the player what they're dealing with.
Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: The "Riot Shield" equippable item is a literal shield that gives about 25% protection to the user from bullet/shrapnel/metal based attacks for each one equipped, and 10% less overall damage to Armor Points for each equipped, allowing armor to last a little longer for each one used.
Making a Splash: Ami, just as in her source series, possesses some powerful advantages in and around watery and liquidy areas in general. Although her average HP is the second lowest of the 15 characters, she makes up for it with her ability to become stronger when standing directly in or swimming under the water. On the surface of the water, all damage she deals is about 3.5 times more than on land, and her defense to most attacks is also 3.5 times greater. When under the water, she deals about six times the normal amount of damage and has about six times as much defense against attacks. This means levels like E1L4, E3L3, E4L9 and E4L10 in the original Duke Nukem 3D are killing fields for Ami, and she becomes the otherwise very-tough Alien Queen's worst nightmare. Combine this with Vitamin-X, her VR Visors combined with the Mercury Mini-Computer, and even more with her specialized "Balanced Form", and Ami's usefulness can border on Game Breaker levels in the water, dealing well over 20 times the normal damage.
MeatShield: ESSence and Cybanis count as these. In perspective, while average HP characters like Duke and Lo Wang have about 1500+ HP at level 1, these two start with 8450+ HP at level 1, although their statistical growths are different from each other, they are both still also pretty slow and don't have all that good jumping skill. ESSence can break the speed/jumping handicap by temporarily removing his specialized permenant armor attachment [which when used reduces damage to him by at least 60% on top of his defense stat's value at the cost of speed and jumping-strength]. Cybanis also has the extra advantage of having infinite wall-grappling/item-holding time over ESSence though.
Money for Nothing: Although the current versions of the game are betas and not close to a final release, there are sometimes ways to get money at such obscene rates over the course of a long playthrough [if you're doing a replay of the original four Duke Nukem 3D episodes especially]. One way to do this is to get multiple "Silk Carnations", a rare and expensive (though also a rare droppable) item that cuts buy prices in shops and raises sell prices in shops by 2% for each one you have [up to as many characters are actively in your party, for a max of 15 [or +/- 30% in shops], and a good enough accumulation of this item can make some items Sell for more money then they can now be bought for, allowing you to slowly build your money to it's maximum amount of 2 Billion Dollars by buying and selling the same item over again.
Another method is to look in the modification's con files [a form of cheating for some] for the Account# and PIN# of all the NPC characters for ATM machines. Yes, the original 15 playable characters are far from the only people who have ATM accounts with actual money in them, you just can't see their Account and PIN#s because you can't play as them.
A third method [and one that is more cripplingly effective in a long playthrough of successive levels] is to have Lisa in your current team and have her level above 10, where she gains a skill her bio calls "Lady Luck", which forces more money to drop whenever money is dropped whenever she is the current character in play. This also transfers to busting up ATM machines and the small money-jar objects in certain levels, which can dump out an obscene amount of money-pickups [if not high amounts of actual cash value] when broken. When Lisa's level is really high [60+], sometimes having her bust up an ATM can make from a few thousand to even a few million dollars come out of the machine for basically free.
This is made even more ridiculous in 5.20+ of NR due to the fact Lisa can now fix and repair various machines like AT Ms and vending machines for a cost of EP and some case. It takes about $10k for her to repair an ATM, but combined with above, $10k ends up bring a tiny chink against the amount of money you can get by busting the ATM, repairing it, and then repeating the process.
On top of the above methods, the "Money Badge" [an equippable item] will double the total amount of any money you pickup in the current instant. If you're playing on a very low Difficulty Level, you can have as many as FOUR of these equipped at once, however the multipliers are additive [so it's up to an 8 times multiplier, not a 16 times multiplier for having four]. Combining these with the "Lady Luck" thing above can really jack the player's money up in a hurry depending on the difficulty.
Money Spider: Played with in multiple ways. Most enemies drop at least a small amount of money on death [in recent versions, dropped money is represented by various sized money-bags in a Castlevania I-style hieracy of colors. Looking at a money bag will show you the amount in it], but a notable quirk is that the once-human Pigcops and their varients will drop a lot more money than most other monsters [since it makes sense former-humans might be carrying a lot more money, and the other aliens might just be collecting pocket change on the street to stop their human adversaries from being able to buy stuff to stop them], while Sharks, mounted Turrets and Riot Tanks won't drop a single penny (and yet, the Sentry Drone and Super Drone will drop a normal amount of money].
Additionally, Lisa has an ability that her on-site bio calls "Lady Luck", which increases the chances of more money being drop by not only enemies, but busted ATM machines and breaking the small money-jars that appear in some bar-like levels, with the catch that Lisa has to be the active character when these things happen for it to work. The higher her level range, the more money even the normal enemies drops, let alone the Pigcops.
Mook Maker: The Super Drone variant of Sentry Drones will periodically spawn in random enemies of ANY species of aliens in the game, including on rare occasions the super hard versions of the first three boss monsters [Elimination Squad Soldier, Megaton Overlord, Cycloid Void Annhilator]. They also try to spawn one final enemy upon their destruction to spite you.
No Name Given: The mod actually subverts this and gives the formerly nameless aliens of Duke Nukem 3D a species name: Triocladiar.
The Mysterious Woman is also this for the most part, unless you look at a specfic magazine cover or use the debug-variables option in the Toggles Submenu. Why her name changes with debug mode on, we have no idea.
Not Quite Flight: Bubsy, keeping true to the series he was born from, can glide while in mid-air to prevent taking falling-damage/death, slowing him down to about 1/3 his falling speed. Appearantly the creator even paid extra attention to the fact you can't whore the skill out by trying to glide within a couple of feet from hitting the ground to avoid damage, since you slow down gradually to your glide speed instead of instantly applying it.
One-Man Army: Averted and yet maintained in it's own way. Duke Nukem is no longer the only person fighting the armies of the alien threat. Up to fourteen more characters eventually team up with him over the course of the game's story. Each one of them end up being One Man/Woman Armies in their own rights. A couple of characters are even debatably more one man armies than Duke himself at times.
1-Up: Yes, the modification actually does have an item that works like this, but it only applies to Bubsy, in the form of the numbered T-Shirts that appear in his first two games. How they work is when Bubsy suffers a mortal hit which his survivability does not save him from, he'll consume one of his present extra lives, bringing his HP and his underwater oxygen supplies back to 100% each, and not switch him to a random character.
A little known feature is that if Bubsy is dead when an extra life t-shirt is picked up, the first life accquired will be automatically consumed to bring him back to life upon pickup.
Oxygen Meter: The modification actually uses Shadow Warrior's set of sprites for it's oxygen meter, but also adds a timer that shows exact seconds of air the character has left when underwater [or replenishing to full when above water].
Each character has a differing amount of time they can hold their breath underwater [which increases gradually as they level-up]. ESSence and Cybanis have the worst times [4 or 5 seconds at Level 1], Duke and Lo Wang have the average time of 15 seconds [at level 1], and Ami has by far the highest time, at 180 seconds (three minutes) [at level 1], making it near impossible for Ami to ever drown in extended underwater trips.
Additionally, unlike most early First Person Shooters with swimming elements, your character's oxygen meter doesn't refill instantly the moment they surface from water, but will slowly refill over a period of up to 5 seconds [if you used up [almost] all your air] until it's maxed out again, preventing you from whoring out the oxygen system too much and for a bit more realism.
Of course, having Scuba Gear on the in-play character will completely prevent the oxygen meter from going down. Additionally, if a character grabs Scuba Gear while underwater, it will slowly refill the character's oxygen meter with it's own to full oxygen [draining from it whatever scuba-energy would be necessary to fill the meter back up], and then resuming it's normal use for providing air to the character.
Party in My Pocket: The character-selection system in the modification works like this, with only your selected character vulnerable to attacks/healing, or being able to interact with the environment or buy themselves items from a shop dealer [you can access any character's ATM account though provided you have their Account# and PIN#, which are only seen when the character in question is selected]. An equippable item does allow a small fraction of any healing your main character receives to be passed onto any other injured members though. Additionally is the "Hyper-Atomic Health" item, which will give all characters in the team [provided they're alive] 200% HP, 200% Armor, 200% First Aid [Portable Medikit HP], and 90-100% Armor Absorbsion strength. Basically Doom 2's Megasphere on steroids.
Playful Hacker / The Cracker: Maken supposedly borders between both according to her on-site bio. She has the in-game ability to see exactly what buttons in a set of combination switches/buttons need to be pressed by just looking at the switch/button in question. This ability also allows her to instantly know which characters can use a handprint-scanner switch, and to see the exact number-code needed for a keypad-switch.
Note that a rare item also allows Lisa the same abilities with switches, but only when used in conjunction with Night Vision Goggles. Maken's is a natural-born ability connected to her background history and requires no items or energy points or anything like it to use.
First off are the five one-time type powerups: the Quad Damage (4x damage), the Regeneration Ankh (fast HP regen), the Shield Emblem (fast Armor regen), the Icon of the Defender and the Vampire Mask (steal HP/Armor from damage to enemies). Keep in mind the NPCs and aliens/monsters can also use these [though NPCs currently stand in one place and don't actively try to attack anything, but an NPC carrying an Icon of the Defender is fatal to any monster that touches them, but not the player (since the Icon's instant-kill aura is supposed to be based on who the user considers friendly or hostile)].
Next are various stat-increase bonus items, which increase most of your RPG-type parameters, including a false level-up item that doesn't actually increase your character's level number, but gives the same randomized boost to your stats that a level up would give, at the cost of poisoning the recipient temporarily and cutting his/her HP by half of it's current value.
Also, there are ailment-curing items and even an item to resurrect dead characters, these are to be used in their respective situations and emergencies.
The "Permenant Boost" items are a recent addition to some versions of the game. There are 9 types of them, and they work by giving a +2% boost to a certain type of thing, up to a max of +30% [one type of item allows healing items to heal an extra 2% more than normal per copy of the item, a second type of item increases the chance of picking up double the amount of an item by 2% per copy of the item]. The catch is that you can only actively use the effects of as many of each type of these items as the number of characters currently in your group, maxing out at 15. They're extremely expensive to buy too if you decide to try that route to get them.
Power-Up Food: "Vitamin X", which is actually an improved-version/replacement of the "Steroids" inventory item in the original Duke Nukem 3D. The name is take from Duke Nukem 64, but the sprite is not the same as the Nintendo 64 censorship item, and the item as a whole gives not only a 50% longer lasting effect, but many more improvements to the user of it than the original Steroids, including: faster movement speed, increased chance of critical hits, improving jumping height, improved grappling and lifting strength/time, a variable slow down of game-speed for the player to react a little better under fire [although the player him/herself is also slown down and just has more time to react, not a Super Speed effect], melee damage is multiplied by 10 [like a Berserk Pack in Doom, while general damage [non-melee] is improved by almost double against enemies. Also, depending on the difficulty level, the user takes a certain % less damage, but the reduction is less depending on Difficulty Levels.
Rank Inflation: Naferia's Reign also has a type of "score"-based feature known as "Rank Points", complete with ranking letters as low as O [a horrifically low negative Rank score] to ZZ [an astoundingly high positive Rank score]. Rank points are usually gained by grabbing "Memorbilia" items [posters and magazines and figurines of various things], killing monsters, finding secret-tagged areas and other such methods, however Rank can be decreased by killing NPCs/Civilians/Captured Babes/Animals [if the player kills them it's a much bigger penalty than being negligent and letting an enemy kill one], and oddly enough the normal version of Sharks deduct a very small amount of Rank points. Rank has recently found one non-score-related use: it affects the % of buy and sell prices in shops in the game. Higher ranks = less buy prices/higher sell prices, and lower ranks obvious mean the reverse.
Another means to gain rank points is to save the aforementioned innocents and NPCs above using "Teleporter Coils". Not only do you get rank points for saving them, but you get rewards teleported to you by the EDF for doing so, including money. However there is a small risk the aliens can intercept your rewards and teleport in a mortar trap or even one of their own troops to try to screw you over.
Regal Ringlets: Christina's hair in the back ends in a series of macaroni/drill curls. Ironic in that Christina is the human-form alter-ego of Nethra, who is actually supposed to be an alien princess, even though she doesn't have hair or even look human when in "Nethra" form.
RPG Elements: The entire mod revolves around RPG-ifying Duke Nukem 3D. Your characters' HP is now an exact number instead of a 100%-based system. You can gain experience by killing monsters and thus will level up, increasing HP, Armor Points, Energy Points, Attack, Defense, Movement Speed, Jumping Strength, Grappling Strength, Underwater Airtime, Ammo Limits and other types of statistics for each level gained.
15 playable characters, including Duke Nukem, Lo Wang, Bubsy, etc, etc. All of which can be found over the course of a single game and switched between via the in-game menus, much like a Mega Man-style weapon-select/RPG-party-selection use. It's probably one of the only Duke Nukem 3D modifications that has a true RPG-style multi-character system, although other mods for Duke Nukem 3D do have Hexen-style multi-character selections [play as one chosen class/character from start to finish].
Additionally, is the Bag of Holding-like inventory system, allowing you to carry seemingly endless numbers of various items, such as health items, the inventory items of Duke Nukem 3D, Armor items, miscellaneous items and equippable items.
There are also 27 specialized items that can be used as equippable items in the exact same vein as traditional JRPGs, except that these are solely "Accessories", not specfically armor or shields [some do resemble pieces of armor though]. One example is a ring that reduces fire/explosive damage by 25% each, while another is a badge that increases the amount of money picked up by double, while a final example is a machine that converts a fraction of HP damage dealt to the character using it into Energy Point recovery.
Certain characters also have a list of usable skills from the in-game menu, mostly used for buffs or healing/resurrecting characters, or removing status ailments. Status buffs and ailments include a Haste buff, a Slow ailment, a Confusion ailment which makes a character's screen bob up and down and to the left and right controllable [an homage to Rise of the Triad's "Shroom Mode"], a blindness-style condition making it hard to see, a poison ailment, a "shell" buff for damage reduction, an attack/defense buff, and then a couple of character-specfic buffs [Ami, Lori and Maken use these, such as Triad Refractor for Lori, a buff that cuts damage in half and deals the other half back to the attacker instantly for example]. One more recent buff is PK Shield (Paula's only support skill so far), an ability that will block and sometimes deflect the mindblasts of Octabrains and Cycloid Emperor-class monsters harmlessly.
Additionally, the upgrades of the Protector Drones can also used a couple of healing skills on each other/themselves/other monsters to support their efforts in battle. And to keep with the Fake Difficulty balance above, monsters and NPCs can also get the same buffs and ailments as the player characters, and they do work, as a confused enemy will run around in random circles, and even trying to stand still to fire at the player, they will spin around randomly and usually miss the player unless they overdodge, while Dimness forces enemies to get much closer to the player to try to attack him/her, and poison obviously drains their HP, while Haste and Slow speed or slow down their movement speeds.
Another note is that some enemy attacks can deal ailments to characters, such as Octabrain/Cycloid-Emperor mental blasts can inflict confusion more than 50% of the time they make a sizable amount of a dent in a player's HP, the Enforcer-class monsters' spit attacks have a low chance of poisoning a player, while the spinning attacks of Assault Commander-class enemies and the slashing claws of Protector Drone-class enemies can temporarily dim/blind the player for seconds at a time. One Enforcer-class upgraded enemy has a special Area of Effect aura which can randomly inflict all three ailments at once, or on more occasions, two out of the three at once.
Rubber Band A.I.: The average of your active characters' levels determines roughly the range of levels the monsters you encounter will activate at. The player characters and monsters can start from Level 1 all the way up to Level 100, with Level 100 entities generally being 1000 to 5000 times tougher than a Level 1 entity. The harder the difficulty level is, the better chances are that most monsters will activate at a level 10-20 levels higher than your average (easier levels can make some monsters up to 5-10 levels weaker than your average), making the difficulty skills very defined on that point alone.
Scoring Points: RANK points, up until the newly released 5.20 of the modification, where for better or worse a glorfied score count for the player. However even before 5.20, it was possible to get negative RANK points if you really sucked at the game early on [although there were few ways to really lose a lot of RANK compared to ways to gain it]. 5.20 and on however now use RANK as a means to gauge your buy/sell benefits in shops, and a monetary payment from the EDF to any active player-characters' ATM accounts [a la the SeeD Rank system in Final Fantasy VIII]. RANK is gained by finding Memorbilia items, rescuing NPCs, killing enemies [except normal Sharks], finding secret areas, and other such methods. You however can lose rank by accidentially or intentionally killing NPCs [monsters killing NPCs also gives a smaller RANK penalty to the player, but not as much as killing them yourself], killing the normal versions of the "Shark" monster, and as of 5.20, having a character die will deduct by far the most RANK from the player at once, generally 10% or more of your current value, making getting killed even more annoying than before.
Shout-Out: TONS. There are shout outs to so many different things it's damn near impossible to list them all.
We'll start with the fortune cookies, imported from Shadow Warrior. All of the original fortunes are there, plus about 70 more, up to a total of eighty-five fortunes. Quite a few are Memetic Mutations, others are taken from shows and aren't as well known to some, and others are totally random.
"Fail at life you will, nya!" - a Bowyer-ized version of "You fail at life!"
Another segmented shout-out seems to be to a pair of obscure games in Japan known as the Crime Crackers series. These games were made in 1994 [the first game] and 1997 [it's sequel] and are appearantly an early idea of combining First Person Shooters with RPG Elements. The FPS technology in both games was a bit like a midway point between Doom and Wolfenstein 3D, while you could have a group of 3 or 4 characters working together at once, able to switch between them actively during any level and all had unique weapons, fighting styles and other skills. Various pictures of the series' characters appear in the form of Memorbilia items, as well as other various shoutouts. The readme file for Naferia's Reign even states the mod would be nothing like it is today without the existance of that series of games.
There are at least 2 or 3 shout outs to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, one is in the form of a recently introduced "Gems" system, which uses several variations based on gem types from Symphony, but also adding some new levels, such as "silver" or "gold" ring versions of each gem, the gold versions being rarer drops and selling for much more than silver types. Zircon is still the cheapest, while Diamond is still the most expensive, but some types like Onyx and Opal are removed, replaced by Emerald, Ruby and Citrine types of gemmed rings. The Gold Diamond ring sells for about $350,000 [it's silver ring counterpart sells for only $100,000].
Shout out #2 to Symphony is the "Serpent Helmet" equippable item, which is basically Symphony's "Dragon Helmet" [one of Alucard's starting pieces of equipment stolen from him and then later recovered], which also has the ability to "scare enemies", lowering their defense against attacks.
The "Twilight Cape" is also in question as one of these, compared to the "Twilight Cloak" in Symphony. Although the Cape in NR is more an amplifier/booster for vampiring damage to HP/AP for the player's attack instead of a defense increasing item, the name and the fact it appears as a vampire's cape like the cloak in Symphony is what makes it a possible shout-out.
Speaking of the "Serpent Helmet", it's actually the same type of helmet as the one worn by the Serpent Guard of Apophis in Stargate SG-1. In a way, this indeed would make the helmet a scary and menacing item to be worn, especially when worn by an 11 to 12 foot alien like ESSence or Cybanis.
The ATM system is a double shout-out, to both Earthbound and the first SiN game, in that Earthbound had the main characters withdrawing money won from defeating monsters from it, and SiN more in the style of the system of how it uses a Account Number and PIN# combination for a character to get into an account, and that a player, with the right combination of numbers could get into the accounts of NPCs or characters that weren't playable. There's even a wire option to transfer money directly between two accounts.
Furthermore a shoutout to SiN: John R. Blade and Elexis Sinclaire's accounts are accessible, with the exact same amounts of money in both accounts as they have in the original first game, complete with the same Easter Egg-like option to transfer Elexis's money to Blade's account, or even to one of your own characters' accounts.
On the subject of Quake, the Regeneration power ups (Regeneration Ankh, Shield Emblem) are heavily based on the Regeneration powerup's behavior in Quake III: Arena, at 15% health/armor per second when under 100% health/armor, and 5% health/armor per second when above 100% health/armor.
Even the Vampire Mask is a shoutout to Skulltag's Vampire rune.
Half-Subversion/Straight: The "Mirror Shield" in NR has no intended connection to the one in The Legend of Zelda series, it's actually based on a sprite of a mirror from Kirby Super Star's'' "Great Cave Offensive" and is used to deflect 1/2 of any received damage back at the attacking enemy.
On the subject of Kirby Super Star, the four elemental rings are also based on a sprite taken from the DS version of the game, one ring edited into four slightly different looking ones.
The "Afa's Drop" is a shout out to Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword. When used, it will increase the growth curves of a character's HP, AP, EP, Attack and Defense by a slight amount, allowing later levelups for said character[s] more beneficial.
Even more in Fire Emblem style, there appears to be a "Support" system in the works for NR, although there is not yet a way to access it directly, the author has stated that appearantly the actual bonuses provided by using supports are programmed in, but there's just no way to "legally" use the system yet for it. It's assumed the storyline versions of the game will start including the means to access these events legally.
A new aspect of the RANK system is similar to Final Fantasy VIII's SeeD Rank system, where the higher your team's rank, the more money the EDF will pay to each active member of your party (however, the money is paid to the characters' ATM accounts, not directly into their on-hand cash).
Significant Birth Date: According to the mod's on-site bio, Duke Nukem is born on July 4th, 1966, making him 30 or 31 years old [according to the storyline's rough year estimate of 1997], but the reference to Independance Day reflects Duke's patriotic and pro-American outlook of things in life [the "Personality" part of his bio also gives him a backstory as having served in the first Gulf War as well].
Stat-O-Vision: Ami's VR Visor is essentially a pair of the original game's Night Vision Goggles, except with the bonus of nigh-infinite lifetime that runs on Ami's Energy Points [all characters can slowly regenerate EP, so this means the visor can only temporarily die if Ami runs out of EP], which additionally light up areas even brighter than the usual NV Goggles, and allow Ami to scan enemies or NPCs she looks at, showing their exact Level, exact HP/Armor/Attack/Defense, the number of seconds of any of the five one-time-use powerups left, and all their elemental weaknesses/strengths/immunities/absorbancies as well, and also if they are of the "Elite" class.
Even further more, once Ami finds her Mercury Mini-Computer item, she can combine it with the VR Visor to scan floors and ceilings for hidden hazardous terrains [some types of sector-based hazards can be 'disquised' in NR to look like harmless floors.
Another note is that various items in the game can be tagged with special flags that give the properties like being invisible to the naked eye. Some varients allow you to see the item with NV Goggles or the VR Visor, and then there are some that only show for the VR Visor (giving the impression it's a far more powerful item than the standard NV Goggles, and then finally one flag that makes them invisible to everything, regardless.
Stripperiffic: Although she's not really close enough to truly fall under this trope, Christina is the most sexually dressed of the main 8 female characters, sporting a strapless halter-top with a red mini-dress, showing a decent amount of cleavage, and wearing bunnygirl-style stockings, completely with black bows, along with a bunny-girl bow around her neck. Her outfit is almost like combining a japanese schoolgirl with a bunnygirl, except she has no bunny ears and doesn't wear high heels. Do note she's 17 years old physically in this form, being an alter-ego of her alien-like form of Nethra, who is actually hundreds, maybe a thousand years old.
Talking To Him/Herself: Jack and ESSence are both played by the same voice actor, Jack Walker [aka Lord Misfit, the creator of the modification]. Jack is a pitch-shifted [we think] varient of his original voice to sound like a younger version of himself, while his voice for ESSence might be best described as "the alien version of Beavis".
Additionally, Lisa and Maken are also played by the same voice actress, Veronnica Herrera [aka Vero-chan], of which her normal voice is Lisa, and a rougher and southern sounding varient of her voice is used for Maken.
Tank Goodness: Another one of Naferia's Reign's smaller features is the ability to actually find empty versions of the Riot Tanks the Pigcop use in Episode 4 of Duke Nukem 3D and use them for your own ends. 13 of the 15 characters (ESSence and Cybanis are too large to use them, boo!) can board any empty tank they find and use it as both an extra pair of weapons and an extra layer of protection from attacks. There are three colored tanks in the game, the standard green tank, which has a primary weapon of bullets similar to pistol rounds with an alternate weapon of laser beams, the blood-red colored tank shoots RPG rockets for both of it's attack types, while the dark-blue tank has shotgun shells as it's primary attack with sprays of the Microwave Expander as it's secondary attack. All attacks are rapid fire and infinite in ammo. Tanks also protect the character driving them from all damage except when a character incorrectly uses a security keypad or security handprint-scanner [or any 'usable' hazard on the walls]. The downside is that Tanks cannot be taken between two maps, and they stay at a set experience level and cannot gain experience once found, although their HP/Armor/Attack/Defense can still be increased by stat-increase bonuses and they can use Portable Medikits, Scuba Gear and Protective Boots for extra effectiveness, and when driving a vehicle, the empty 16th slot in the character submenu will show the Tank's stats and allows you to use various healing/armor items on it from the inventory or skill submenus. A final note is that in most recent versions a compressed version of the empty tanks can be found and carried as an inventory item in the form of Franchise/
Transformation Sequence: Subverted more or less with Ami and Minako. Although Ami and Minako can transform into their Sailor-fuku clad states in the modification, the transformations are instantaneous. Additionally, they actually start off in their "civilian" forms in game, in which civilian form gives a small boost to their damage at the cost of some reduced damage resistance, while being in "Senshi" form inverses this, making their damage weaker, but their damage resistance above average. They also seem to possess a third transformation state that is called a "Balanced" form, where they don their planetary-princess dress and other attire. However it's only balanced in that the benefits are even, an even +200% Damage and +66% Resistance to damage. Balanced form however will drain the EP of Ami and Minako when in these forms and if they run out, they will revert back to normal form.
In a sense, Bubsy has this. Appearantly the Loki Mask has some kind of role to play for him in the future, as he can transform into a Jim Carrey-esque form with the yellow trenchcoat and fedora and all. This form also drains at his EP when used, but he has stronger attacks, better jumping strength, a random chance to totally null damage from any attack regardless of it's normal strength, and possibly a few other benefits.
Underground Monkey: In the original Duke Nukem 3D, only a couple of enemies officially fell under this [the Assault Troopers/Assault Captains, and the Boss-Battlelords/Mini-Battlelords]. Naferia's Reign however adds multiple varients of the same enemy species on top of that.
The Assault Trooper species now also has the "Ravager Captain" [an Assault Trooper that has mortars and RPG rockets, and extra resistance to all forms of explosive weapons] and the "Shrink Trooper" [an Assault Trooper that can use the Shrinker/Microwave-Expander gun, and has greater resistance to being shrunk, and also high resistance against damage from the Expander].
In addition, the Assault Captain, Ravager Captain & Shrink Trooper now have the ability to activate a self-destruct mechanism in their versts, Predator-style and will try to reach you in a kamikaze run which can do a lot of damage if they get close enough [and shooting them dead after they do this won't stop their corpse from going up in a bloody fireball]. Also, the Assault Captains now shoot a twin-laser 50% of the time, or a twin-pistol shot the other half of the time.
The Pigcop also has two new variations: the "Pigcop Captain" [red-suited varients with a quick double-shot shotgun [two shots one after the other within 1.5 seconds, and 75% more base HP], and the "Pigcop Sargeant" [dark-green suited varients with a shotgun/spreader-mini-RPG attack that also fires twice in a 1.5 second period, and 150% more base HP than the normal Pigcop].
The Enforcer also has two more varients, the sometimes Demonic Spider-like "Laser Enforcer" [a hot-red skinned Enforcer with a laser and bullet shooting hyperblaster which had the tendacy to do a ton of damage even with minimal accuracy to lower-level players, and 50% more HP], and then the "Bio-Warrior Enforcers" [radioactive, night-vision glowing Enforcers with a chaingun-speed spit/laser/bullet cannon and more dangerously a bioactive-aura which can deal damage to nearby players and randomly afflict them with either Poison, Dimness or Confusion [or a combination of two or all three.], with 100% more HP than the normal Enforcer].
The Octabrain has only one new varient, but likely one of the most dangerous upgraded types, the "Octanine", a larger, green-eyed [and green-brained] variant with nine times the HP and AP of the Octabrain, faster recovery time between it's biting attack, and a dangerous volley of projectiles, including a stream of lasers and Mindblasts which its' lesser variation can only fire one at a time, and then topped off with a nasty reality-manipulation attack which opens a temporary tear in the dimensional fabric of space and makes rockets fly out in random directions for nasty [and usually unpredictable] damage.
Additionally, the mindblasts of Octabrains can now inflict Confusion on players with a high chance when they connect.
The kamikaze-loving Sentry Drones also have only a single new varient, the massive-sized "Super Drone". However this varient plays a different support role in attacking players. Instead of being used as a kamikaze unit, it will either charge the player for substantal ramming damage [complete with player knockback], or it will fly around at unexpectedly higher speeds than it's smaller counterpart, firing lasers in a continuous stream while moving towards the player, with the occasional RPG rockets fired as well. It's most important role however is that it is appearantly also used as a form of mobile teleporter destination for the alien forces and random monsters [including miniboss level enemies] will spawn in at random intervals to assist the Super Drone. It also has a chance of spawning a final enemy upon it's destruction, and will still deal explosive damage in death to anything around it.
The fat and flying Assault Commanders have two extra varients of their kind, one being the weaker "Assault General" [25% less HP, smaller, high-pitched sounds, but fires faster though weaker rockets, good for laughs at it's high-pitched voice], and then the stronger "Assault Leader" [50% more HP, larger than the Commander, lower-pitched sounds, and fires slower, but much stronger rockets].
Additionally, all members of the Assault Commander group can "lock-on" to the player with their spinning-blade attack on the higher half of the difficulty-level spectrum [making it very hard for slower characters to break away from them once they start spinning], and on top of it, their spin attacks sometimes dim/blind the player for a few seconds when they land a hit.
The Protector Drones have two new varients, the "Lesser Naferiate" [a larger, blue-skinned varient with about 3 times the normal HP of the original varient, and the ability to use the "Cure Life [Lesser]" ability on itself or nearby wounded monsters], and the "Greater Naferiate" [larger than the Lesser variation, still blue-skinned, and about 5 times the amount of HP as the original Protector Drone, and has the ability to use the "Cure Life [Greater]" ability on itself or nearby monsters.
The original Protector Drone also now shoots small balls of electricty [in a closer vein to their spawers, the Alien Queen, who use electricty to charge water and damage players], and the Naferiate types use stronger types of electrical blasts as protectiles. In addition to that, they can absorb ANY electrical damage dealt to them and heal from it, including damage from electrical floors [like the electric-chair in E1L3 of the original game]. Normal Protector Drones have been known to accidentally improvise healing each other by shooting each other [unintentionally] with their electrical blasts to make up for not having the curing abilities of their stronger counterparts.
The Pigcop Riot Tank has two new varients, a blood-red camo counterpart, and a dark-blue counterpart. None of the varients have any different stats from each other or the original Riot Tank, but the red ones shoot rockets or mortars in rapid succession, topping off it's attack with a strong freezethrower shot, and the blue ones use shotgun shells and microwave expander clusters against players, topping it off with a strong freezethrower shot as well. Basically the enemy equalvalent of the Tank Goodness stuff above.
All three types of Riot Tanks still keep their backside self-destruct buttons as quick-kill methods, but they will not be usuable by the player if the Tank in question is invulnerable due to an Icon of the Defender. Additionally, on the higher half of the difficulty-level spectrum, Riot Tanks will shoot at you without stopping to aim first, making them harder to duck behind to get to their self-destruct buttons while attacking you.
Even the small Mounted Turrets have varients of themselves, in a similar color system to the Riot Tanks above, using blood-red and dark-blue varients. The blood-red varients are "Rocket Turrets", which have obvious missile attacks instead of lasers. The dark-blue varients are "Shotgun Turrets", easily the most dangerous and cheap of the three types of Turrets.
Additionally, the turrets' death explosions can actually deal minor damage to anything too close to them when they explode now.
Hell, even the lowly water-dwelling Sharks got one nasty upgraded varient. The "Bloodtooth Shark" is a massively-huge blood-red shark with nearly one-hundred times the HP of it's normal counterpart [the on-site manual says they are a unnatural mutation of normal Sharks, probably influenced by the alien invaders], and a much higher amount of attack and defense. They're only diminished in the fact they are still solely melee attacking monsters.
However, to compound the melee-only nature of Sharks as a whole, their AI is upgrade to be a lot more persistance and effective. Sharks in the original Duke Nukem 3D can only swim horizontally to attack players, but in Naferia's Reign, they can also adjust their vertical position as they persue their target, AND they can occasionally swim out of the way of projectiles like the Sentry Drones. Even more so, if you shoot at a meandering Shark [or more often a Bloodtooth varient], they are likely to dodge the attack if it's a projectile, and will usually end up pissed off enough to enter attack mode and chase the player's ass all over. And finally, the normal Shark is the only monster in the entire modification that penalizes the player's Rank Points when killed, although it's rarely more than a double digit deduction at worst, while the Bloodtooth Sharks are worth a ton of Rank when killed [since they're unnatural mutations of Sharks that are suggested you need to take out].
The Battlelord [original game's first boss type] also has not only a new varient of itself, but now a non-game-ending version of it's full-sized boss counterpart so they can be used without ending the current level/episode, or for multiple boss-level incarnations of itself in the same battles. The new Battlelord varient on the other hand is called the "Elimination Squad Soldier", which is marginally larger than the mini-boss varients of the monster, with blood-red Armor, and is argueably the most dangerous creature in the modification thus far, justified in that their chaingun-like cannon shoots twice the speed of the other varients weapons, and shoot randomized projectiles, but usually lasers in a similar vein to the Laser Enforcers, causing a ton of havoc to a player not taking cover. They also have over twice the HP range as the original large boss variant of the Battlelord.
As a fun note: ESSence is a playable version of the Elimination Squad Soldier according to his story and bio. Perhaps a turncoat to the alien invaders, or maybe betrayed by and/or pissed at the commanding alien figureheads?
The Overlord [original game's second boss type], is also changed in similar ways as the Battlelord species, having a non-game-ending varient of it's full-sized boss counterpart, and also an upgraded varient in a similar vein to the Elimination Squad Soldier called the "Megaton Overlord". The difference between an "ESS" and the Megaton Overlord is mainly it's attack style, using a multi-barreled pair of shotgun cannons instead of missiles, which is compared to being pelted by twelve shotgun barrels per blast. Due to the hitscan nature of this attack, being caught in the open with a Megaton Overlord can be very dangerous. Luckily it has to 'warm up' it's attack the same way it's other counterparts have to when shooting their missiles, giving you a second to take cover. Again, it has a similar HP range to the Elimination Squad Solider, meaning it has over twice the HP of the boss version of the Overlord.
Additionally, there is also a properly functioning version of a mini-boss Overlord available to fight in the mod as well. Their HP range is the same as the mini-boss version of the Battlelord.
As with the other two bosses, the Cycloid Emperor also gains the benefit of a non-game-ending varient of the full-sized boss form, and also an upgraded counterpart like the Elimination Squad Soldier and the Megaton Overlord, know as the "Cycloid Void Annhilator". It's threat level can compete with the Elimination Squad Soldier in that it's breath is an extremely dangerous weapon, as it can breathe bullet-like hitscanners, mindblasts, microvave-expander waves, poisonous spit globs and other junk like it. It's rocket attack is also quite unpredictable as well, and of course, it's HP range is identical to the Elimination Squad Soldier and the Megaton Overlord.
Additionally, there is also a properly functioning version of a mini-boss Cycloid Emperor ["Cycloid Prince" actually] available to fight in the mod as well. Their HP range is the same as the mini-boss version of the Battlelord and Overlord.
As a fun note: Cybanis is a playable version of the Cycloid Void Annhilator according to his story and bio. Maybe like ESSence he's a turncoat or someone in the alien hierachy just pissed him off enough to turn him into an ally of the good guys?
Even more interesting: the bits of story known so far peg Cybanis as the son of the Cycloid Emperor Duke defeats in the original Duke Nukem 3D in the third episode. This makes it very tough to know why he would work with Duke, if Duke techincally killed his father in the past. Maybe he doesn't care so much about revenge, and is more interested in Duke's abilities as a warrior? Who knows...?
We Sell Everything: An shop-system is featured in the form of "Dealer" NPCs, Fonz-looking men in shades and leather jackets. The shop system currently has damn near every type of item in the game, new or old, with exceptions to rare one-time powerups and weapons themselves [weapon ammo is sold at the shop though]. The shop allows both buying and selling of many items. It should be noted the shop in the current versions is more of a 'debugging' style shop, intended to have most of the items, whereas shops near the final versions of the game will be more spread out in terms of things sold to the player characters.