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Video Game / Action Doom 2: Urban Brawl

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"Saigon. Always dreams of Saigon."
Main Character

A sequel to a Doom II Game Mod, made by Stephen "Scuba Steve" Browning, but this time released as a standalone game. It's available as a freeware download, but it was also released in a boxed version, which includes some extra goodies. As of now, the bonus levels included in the boxed version are now free to download off of the main site.

While the original Action Doom was an attempt to bring Contra-like mechanics to first person perspective, Urban Brawl is a nod to beat 'em ups like Double Dragon. You have a pistol, but most of the time, you'll end up fighting with melee weapons like two-by-fours, bottles or pool cues.

The game puts you as a grizzled veteran, living in a desolate, crime-filled quarter of the city, with only your daughter to keep you company and bring a point to your life. When she gets taken away by henchmen working for an unknown boss, you set on a quest to find her, learn about the people who took her and take revenge on those responsible, while beating up tons of criminals along the way. Although short, the game offers multiple paths to take and a lot of secrets.

Its homepage is here. An add-on, Dead of Winter, was released in January 2014. A Reloaded version was released in August 2021, which is tweaked for modern hardware (it's now designed to run on GZDoom) and gave the protagonist some new abilities like throwing.

Provides examples of:

  • 2xFore: One of the many improvised weapons available, complete with nails lodged into one end and tape wrapped around the other to use as a handle.
  • Action Dad: The protagonist, natch, who is willing to take on an entire town of gangsters, a serial killer, and a corporation to save his daughter.
  • Alone with the Psycho: The level where, at the behest of an old woman, you seek her lost son in a forest and come across a lonely farm. Exploring, you find a Room Full of Crazy with lots and lots of newspaper clippings about kid disappearances, an imprisoned and beaten cop in the basement, and eventually confront the Serial Killer himself in a barn full of butchered child corpses."
  • Art-Style Dissonance: The game's plot has a very dark tone to it, but it is presented with a cartoony, colorful (aside from the black and white comic cutscenes) art style.
  • Batter Up!: It wouldn't be an urban brawl without baseball bats being an available melee weapon
  • Betting Mini-Game: You can gamble for points in the casino if you wish. Can be done mid-combat if desired, but if you get surrounded when playing poker, you'll get trapped in a Cycle of Hurting. The bonus pack also adds blackjack and roulette, and lets you play without worry about combat.
  • Booze Flamethrower: One of the more rotund enemies, will fill up their mouths with booze and then blow a stream of flame.
  • Breakable Weapons: Each melee weapon (other than the brass knuckles) has a limited number of attacks before it wears out and is tossed. They also visibly degrade when half-way.
  • The Casino: As you're riding an elevator upwards through the corporation building and punching out everyone you meet along the way, one of the floors you come upon is a casino, complete with snazzy casino music and mini-games to play.
  • Chain Pain: A length of chain is one of the many melee weapons the player and one of the mooks can use, attacking with it like a whip/flail.
  • Cel Shading: Simulated in the Doom engine via use of black-outlined sprites, and cleverly created black outlines around level geometry - this is handled by creating a one-sided texture box around objects that show black when seen from one side (the back), but invisible from the other (the front view).
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Attempting to use weapons on Hugo has them simply break instantly, with the noted exception of the chainsaw.
  • Creator Cameo: If you turn on the generator in the farm house and enter the room with the missing children posters plastered over the walls, you can find one with Stephen Browning's name and photo on it.
  • Crosshair Aware: Done briefly at the beginning of a sequence where you run across a field, hiding behind hay bales from a sniper hiding in a tree. The viewpoint switches briefly from the player character's to the sniper's viewpoint, with a crosshair overlaid. It's used to notify you about the sniper's presence and position in the first place. After his first shot, though, the game switches back to first-person perspective.
  • Death by Cameo:
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Averted; a gun is the first weapon you pick up and the only type of weapon you permanently keep on your person (barring the brass knuckles you get from a boss on one route), and they are the most efficient way to dispose of enemies. However, ammo is extremely scarce until you start regularly fighting guys who use guns in the final stretch.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Zig-zagged. While the easiest ending to get is a bad one (you run out of leads and die in the subway), the good ones are only mildly harder. The by far hardest ending to get, which involves both going to the cabin in the forest and attacking the Phylex tower, is also a bad one (your daughter shoots you, after which you overdose on painkillers in the hospital, knowing she doesn't want you in her life anymore).
  • Executive Suite Fight: The finale is set in the Phylex headquarters, with the final showdown (though not with the Corrupt Corporate Executive himself, since he's wheelchair-bound and just sends his mooks and a friggin' helicopter at you) taking place in the boss' office.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Different kinds of bottles are amongst the most common melee weapons. They break after the first hit which makes them great shanks. In fact, after your gun, the very first weapon you get in the game is a bottle of Jack Daniels the player character drinks to reduce his sensitivity to pain and then uses as a weapon.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: It's hard not to notice the ninja ladies with their freakish purple hair.
  • Homage: To old side scrolling beat 'em ups such as Streets of Rage or Final Fight, with an atmosphere and story telling style similar to Sin City.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: The healing items are all various types of food, from sodas, pizzas to fried chickens and more, which recover varying amounts of health. Like the entire game, it's an homage to beat 'em ups from the 1990s.
  • I Call It "Vera": The protagonist's pistol is named "Sarah", claiming when picking it up that it's "the only woman left in my life".
  • Improvised Weapon: To properly emulate old-school Beat Em Ups and fit in with its subtitle of "Urban Brawl", there's a whole bunch of them. The choices include but are not limited to pipes 2x4's, bottles, chains, baseball bats, sledgehammers, shovels, statues ("Early Etruscan, I believe."), and even a chainsaw.
  • Interrogation by Vandalism: Smashing the dishonest informant Jerry's car to pieces is the way to get him to speak the full truth. Otherwise he will lead you down the wrong route to a bad ending. Although for added insult to injury (Jerry's to be specific) the cutscene of the protagonist interrogating Jerry has him smash the dishonest informant's face into the windshield to get him to spill the beans.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The bonus level "Samurai Showdown" has you pick up a katana and take on endless waves of enemies. The katana tends to wipe through them easily. This does not make the bonus level any less hard. The room the bonus level is based on also holds one in the main game, which cuts through almost every enemy like butter, but upon grabbing it you're ambushed by more enemies than that katana could kill without breaking.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: You can't grab elite mooks and fat ones, unlike other enemies.
  • Land Mine Goes "Click!": The forest level, which is filled with landmines visible (barely) as vague gray patches on the brown ground in the darkness of dusk. The first time you step on one, it's always a dud, but the game isn't as merciful the next time.
  • Lethal Joke Item: One of the strongest melee weapons in the game is a cardboard tube. Fear the tube.
  • The Mafia: Taking Jerry's tip leads you to being ambushed on a damaged bridge by a "lower mob echelon", including a boss fight against their leader Tommy Lacoata. The hero takes it as a compliment that he's worth the mob's attention.
  • Minigame Zone: The casino floor in the Phylex tower, with gambling minigames. There's a bonus level that takes you right to it, gives you a ton of points to gamble with, and lets you play the games without worrying about enemies.
  • Multiple Endings: One good (obviously, you save your daughter), and three bad ones (you run out of leads in the subway and are murdered by a random mook; the Big Bad arranges your arrest before you can fight him; the Big Bad tricks your daughter into shooting you, leading to you committing suicide in the hospital). There's also a Non-Standard Game Over if you attack the Big Bad before your daughter has fled the scene, as well as an alternate bittersweet one where you get sidetracked taking on Hugo, are unable to find your daughter, but end up starting a new family with the woman who rescued you from the subway station.
  • Nintendo Hard: Some of the bonus levels are nasty shit.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Peter Crisp, the old, wheelchair-bound Corrupt Corporate Executive, who doesn't actually do anything during the final showdown, instead sending waves of mooks (and a helicopter) at you. Though you still get the satisfaction of punching him out a window after you've taken care of all his goons (assuming you're on the path to the good ending, at least).
  • One Bullet Left: The hero says he only has one chance to hit the helicopter with the weapon he picked up.
  • Open-Ended Boss Battle: The two gangsters at the end of the subway; you get different endings depending on whether you lose to them or not, in addition to whether or not you did something in a previous level. Interestingly, if you didn't do that certain something previously, it is losing to them that will lead to the best ending you can get at that point - or, for that matter, continuing the game at all; if you beat them in this situation, you get a bad ending.
  • Papa Wolf: The protagonist is willing to beat up a whole town full of gangsters, potentially take on a hulking Serial Killer psycho with his bare hands, and attack a guard-filled company headquarters all by himself, all to save his daughter. This actually backfires in you in one of the possible endings: your brutality throughout the game ends up making you so blood-covered and creepy that, when you finally find her, your own daughter is afraid of you and shoots you to defend the Corrupt Corporate Executive that kidnapped her.
  • Private Eye Monologue: Both in the cutscenes and the occasional quip in-game.
  • Prehensile Hair: A tone-down version, one variant of the female enemies has them use their long hairs to attack you.
  • Recurring Riff: There is a recurring musical motif throughout the game. It first appears at the very beginning of the intro theme, then (if you're going the good way, because there are multiple paths through the game) pops up in the first stage intro, bar music, end of the final level music and (in a warped form) the final boss theme, until it finally (hopefully) returns at the very end of the good ending theme.
  • The Reveal: The hero's wife had an affair with the Big Bad, and "his" daughter is the product of that affair.
  • The Stinger: Completing the game with the best ending unlocks a scene where the hero has gone missing and his now-grown daughter setting out to rescue him..
  • Serial Killer: One of these can be optionally confronted, depending on which path throughout the game you take. Hugo's a huge, fat silent guy who looks like Hugo Andore and lives alone in a farmhouse in the middle of a forest where he keeps a vicious dog. He kidnaps children and apparently butchers them, then hangs them up in his barn. You confront him one-on-one and potentially beat him to death in a fist fight... or just slice him in half with a chainsaw, if you have found it.
  • Shout-Out: Naturally due to being a DOOM mod and made as a love letter to old Beat Em Ups, there's a lot of pop-culture references to see and not just to the genre it is based on too.
  • Shows Damage:
    • Hugo gets progressively more bloody and bruised as you beat him up... not that it slows him down.
    • Most weapons are given new damaged sprites once they're brought to half-strength.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Two types of mooks (somewhat based on Jean-Claude Van Damme) are shirtless, muscled fist-fighting men.
  • Sinister Switchblade: One of the game's mooks is armed with these, which they use in close quarters or even throwing one as a ranged attack (for some reason they have an infite amount) and naturally can be used by the player when dropped. It does a satisflying "click"/"flick" noise everytime it's drawn out.
  • Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: In the pre-Reloaded version, the first level ends in a gay bar. It's mostly an ordinary bar, if dark and empty, but it features bright disco lights and Expies of the Village People attacking you. The bartender is a suave guy with an elaborate hairdo who wears pink and, though tough enough to take hits from you (if you try to just punch him, the protagonist outright says that won't work for getting info out of him), cries if you beat up his precious car.
  • Would Hit a Girl: The protagonist has no qualms of beating up, stabbing or shooting any and female enemies. Justified, since they are as violent and ruthless as male enemies.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Using the stun gun on enemies will not only stun them but also give you an impromptu X-ray. One of the bad endings has this happen to the protagonist as he's taken out by Phylex security.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The "ZOMG ZOMBIES" Bonus Level, where you're stuck in a city with endlessly respawning zombies coming at you from all directions.