The game tells the story of its human protagonist, Kurt Hectic, and his attempts to rescue Earth from an alien invasion of gigantic strip mining city-vehicles named 'Minecrawlers', that are not only removing all of earth's natural resources but are also flattening any people and cities that get in their way. The game combined action with a sense of humour. It featured a "sniper mode" that allowed the player to zoom in on enemy targets.
A sequel, MDK2 was developed by BioWare and released by Interplay for the PC and Sega Dreamcast in 2000, and later for the PlayStation 2 (titled MDK 2: Armageddon) in 2001. An enhanced HD remake of MDK2 was released at the end of July 2012.
This Video Game contains examples of:
- Aliens in Cardiff: The targets of the city Minecrawlers are Laguna Beach, Lindfield, Livingston, Kirkaldy and Sparrow Pit.
- All There in the Manual: Most of the plot of this game, as well as the characterizations, for it doesn't show a proper beginning movie. MDK2 also begins with a recap of the story, with some key details from the manual being put in.
- Almighty Janitor: Kurt Hectic, who is literally a janitor who prefers to shirk the eyes of the public.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Can be induced on a room of enemies with "The World's Most Interesting Bomb", which is an otherwise unremarkable grey box they all just walk over to investigate once thrown.
- Badass Bookworm: Kurt.
- Big Bad: Gunter "Gunta" Glut.
- Big Good: Dr. Hawkins.
- Bottomless Magazines: Kurt's Chaingun.
- The Brute: Gunta.
- The Cameo: In some places (including at least one secret area), there are some Earthworm Jim heads lying around. Furthermore, if you touch one, a cow will appear and fall on an enemy (or you, if there is none).
- Drop the Cow: See The Cameo above.
- Excuse Plot: Aliens are attacking, and only Kurt Hectic can save the day!
- The Faceless: Subverted with Kurt, as you can see his face during his Idle Animation, but most people tend not to wait around for long enough to see. Completely Averted in the sequel.
- Fat Bastard: Gunta.
- Fun with Acronyms: Applies to the sequel as well, for neither Shiny nor BioWare have explicitly said what the MDK in the title stands for, but popular theories/jokes include Murder Death Killnote and, in the spirit of the original game's release date, Mother's Day Kisses.
- Gainax Ending: The original releases ended with...a music video of all things. You end with a music video of French musician Billy Ze Kick performing a cover of Non Non Rien N'a Changé, a French song written to protest the Vietnam War. Take that as you will. Later releases, such as the PlayStation version and even the Steam re-release, removed this, but left a sense that it was incomplete as a result.
- The Hero: Kurt.
- Initialism Title: Possibly one of the more famous examples. See Fun with Acronyms, above.
- Knight of Cerebus: Gunter "Gunta" Glut is legitimately more serious than the Big Bad of the sequel.
- The Lancer: Max/Bones.
- Mad Scientist: Dr. Hawkins is a benign example - after being ridiculed for his "Flange Orbits" theory, he avoids the whole They Called Me Mad! routine and instead decides to leave Earth and reside in the Jim Dandy until he comes up with definite proof to back up his theories.
- Mook Maker: Some enemies come out of these in most levels. In most cases, they do not have to be destroyed, but doing so makes going through the level easier.
- Mythology Gag: A meta one to another Shiny's game. As noted above in The Cameo not only are there Earthworm Jim's faces lying around, if you collec one a cow falls on one of your enemies. Or you if there are none around.
- Sprite/Polygon Mix: Just about everything is polygonal except Kurt himself, who's a large digitized sprite (in the main segments; he has a proper model when making planetfall).
- Subsystem Damage: In Sniper Mode, Kurt could target individual locations on enemies for increased damage and possibly crippling them as well. It was even possible to score a One-Hit Kill on some of the bosses using a head shot with certain ammo types.
- Timed Mission: There is a certain amount of time you have to complete the level before everyone dies (as represented on a green line gradually turning red around the health counter). You can still complete the level after time runs out, but it results in Dr. Fluke Hawkins saying you failed. Don't worry, you still go to the next level anyhow.
- A Winner Is You: Some re-releases of this game removed the music video at the end. So we see the Minecrawler base being destroyed, Kurt jumps on the MDK logo and...the credits roll. Fortunately, MDK2 gives us something closer to a proper ending in its recap of this game.