Hacx: Twitch 'n' Kill is a cyberpunk-themed First-Person Shooter, initially released by Banjo Software in 1997 as a commercial Total Conversion for Doom II. The game tells the story of Danny Evanger, a hacker imprisoned for hacking the database of Genemp Corporation. While in prison, Danny is contacted by the government, who needs his hacking skills-and his killing skills-to stop a cyberterrorism plot.
The development of the game was notably rushed with the intent of seeing a release before id Software's Quake. The result was an Obvious Beta of varying quality throughout its 21 levels (ranging from abysmal to above average by Doom mapping standards), with the final map ending on a Knee Deep in the Dead-style Cliffhanger. The game still missed the deadline and as a result, ended up selling poorly - being overshadowed by Quake's far more advanced 3D engine.
Regardless, work began on a sequel titled "Hacx 2 3D", which started development on the id Tech 2 Game Engine, but then saw desperate shifts to the Unreal and Genesis3D engines before the inability to find a publisher put both the project and Banjo Software itself to rest.
In 2005, Rich Johnston (aka Dr. Nostromo), a former Banjo Software member, released the full add-on as freeware - but that's not all, in 2009, prolific Doom modder Xaser, with support from Nostromo, started an official fan project to "finish" the rushed game. From version 1.2 and onwards, the game's most infamous bugs were fixed, and it was made into stand-alone game, meaning it can be played by itself on the ZDoom source port without requiring a copy of Doom II.
This game provides examples of
- All There in the Manual: Much like Doom, the backstory is never explained within the game itself.
- Cyberspace: Several levels take place here, much of them being surreal in design.
- Easy Level Trick: MAP16 ("Protean Cybex") can be completed in a split-second. The exit switch is hidden in the floor, and is supposed to rise out after you trigger four switches throughout the level. However, the pseudo-3D Doom engine does not take the Z dimension into account when deciding whether a switch is in the player's reach, so if you simply face towards where the switch is and press the Use key, the level ends.
- Gangsta Style: How the Uzi is held by the player character.
- Genius Bruiser: Danny Evanger is both a master hacker and a skilled soldier.
- Megacorp: Genemp Corporation, among others.
- Prisons Are Gymnasiums: According to the plot, Danny becomes the badass he is through exercising while incarcerated.So they send you packing to the federal pen. For the rest of your natural life. No computer, no gear, nothing. Total drag. Cement and bars, and the other guys inside aren't exactly your average beefcakes. They catch a glance at your cyber-jockey derrière and get a wet gleam in their eye. So what you do for the next twelve months is hit the weight room—hard and fast! You pump iron like your life depended on it—and it does. You learn to sleep with one eye open. Punching the heavy bag becomes your breakfast; tae-kwon-do your lunch, and for dinner well, you gotta eat sometime. And practice? Plenty. 'Cause these boys got a gleam in their eyes that won't go away. But how you've changed! Over once scarecrow arms, muscles wrap tight and heavy, and you've got a fu-kick that makes the boys call you "Sir". Before you were just an average pencil-necked geek, now you could grace the front of Muscle and Guns Magazine. And just in time, too.
- Shout-Out: A few here and there.
- One of the quit messages in the ZDoom version is "Shoulda taken the blue pill."
- Standard FPS Guns: Not too surprising, as this game was a mod for Doom - the game that codified this trope. The fan-updated version (Hacx 2.0) has made efforts to subvert this though, such as turning the formerly shotgun-like Tazer into a mini BFG-like weapon.
- 20 Minutes into the Future