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Video Game / MDK2

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MDK2 is the direct sequel to the original MDK released in 2000 by established RPG developer BioWare Corp. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and was released for the Dreamcast and PC originally, but was eventually re released for the PS2 as MDK2: Armageddon.The game was re-released on WiiWare, and an Updated Re-release was also released for the PC.

MDK2 begins right where the last game left off, where reluctant Hero Kurt Hectic — a janitor employed aboard Dr. Fluke Hawkins' orbital space station, the Jim Dandy — is sent to deal with the last minecrawler in Canada instead of enjoying his well-earned break from fighting off the last batch of minecrawlers. After killing the pilot, Kurt is promptly kidnapped by a rather huge alien called Shwang Shwing. From here, the characters Kurt Hectic, Fluke Hawkins, and Hawkins's assistant/guard — a six-legged, bipedal robotic dog named Max — take turns saving one another, until they finally confront the Emperor of the alien empire, Zizzy Balooba.

Each of the three characters has a different style of play, such as:

  • Kurt Hectic relies on his Ribbon Chute and sniper rifle/chaingun to move through the levels, with emphasis placed upon tricky sniping and a mix of firepower, puzzles, and large, open platforming segments.
  • Max places emphasis on raw firepower, able to wield a gun in each paw for a total of 4 guns. Max's levels consist of getting from A to B, utilizing his guns for clearing rooms of enemies, broken up with a few vertical jetpack platforming areas. Unlike the other characters, he is able to destroy barricades (and certain walls) just by shooting them up. His playing style means that he is more than likely to be surrounded and attacked, but he has a much higher health bar when compared to the other two characters (200%, compared to Kurt's 100% and Hawkins' 60% health)
  • Hawkins' are more of the smarts variety, and are quite humorous when compared to the other two characters, relying on combining items to form gadgets to fight/traverse through the stage and puzzles. His levels also rely on some tricky platforming.

MDK2 provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Professor Hawkins' trademark Atomic Toaster, which fires...well, radioactive toast. Different bread types for different ammo.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: The target of the city minecrawler in the first mission is Edmonton. The aliens also attack Laguna Beach in the first game.
  • Alien Invasion: MDK2 picks up where MDK leaves off, at the tail end of a crumbling alien invasion.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Schwang Schwing, the BFB, Emperor Zizzy Balooba, and the Coneheads are all seen speaking fluent English. During Dr. Hawkins' first battle with the BFB, it's outright stated that he's read the BFB's intergalactically-published research paper - apparently in English.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: In the middle third of the game, the Jim Dandy is boarded by aliens. It takes both Max and Dr. Hawkins to thwart their invasion.
  • Almighty Janitor: Kurt Hectic, who is literally a janitor who prefers to shirk the eyes of the public. The only reason why he's strapped into a killing machine to kick alien ass is because he happened to be the only man fit for the job on-board Dr. Hawkins' space station. (Heck, in his ending, he returns to the Jim Dandy, despite garnering the attention of the entire Earth.)
  • Angels Pose: Occasionally used as the MDK2 logo, and as part of the cover. Happens right before the heroes meet the final boss.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The fourth and sixth boss were given markers to tell the player how to win. This help wasn't in the Dreamcast version, which can make defeating these bosses very confusing.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The Plutonium next to Kermit, the giant plant, is used to create the atomic toaster. It is used later on to turn Professor Hawkins into Hyde.
  • Artistic License – Space: After Dr. Hawkins depressurises a room, he survives in a complete vacuum by wearing a fishbowl on his head. Rule of funny reigns supreme.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
  • Badass Boast: Attempted by Dr. Hawkins.
    Dr. Hawkins: (to Schwang Schwing) My ship is 100% impenetrable!
    (Schwang laughs, followed by an explosion)
    Computer: Hull breach on observation deck. Intruder alert.
    Dr. Hawkins: Well, it's... 99.9% im...penetrable. Oh, fudge.
  • Badass in Distress: Multiple times in sequence. A character will often finish a section only to be captured or trapped in a way that requires one of the other characters to go to the rescue, thus necessitating And Now for Someone Completely Different.
  • Bag of Spilling: Characters lose their items between levels. Dr. Hawkins starts with a fixed inventory of items starting from his second level. Fluctuates between justified and completely ignored.
  • Blow You Away: At one point, Dr. Hawkins has to use a wearable leaf blower to blow aliens out of the tree lounge and into Kermit's mouth.
  • Bomb Disposal: Most of level 6, where the BFB plants bombs all over the Jim Dandy.
  • Book Ends: The game begins and ends with narration over a comic-book-style prologue and epilogue. The player characters also have a brief exchange at the beginning and end of the game.
    Dr. Hawkins: Yes, it's all over.
    Kurt: Yeah... I'm... glad it's over.
  • Bottomless Magazines: One per character.
    • Kurt has his chaingun and normal sniper bullets. He can find temporary chaingun powerups, items, and special sniper ammunition.
    • Max has his normal Pistol, but... it's a pistol. Terrible fire rate, terrible damage. Instead, you're better off picking up the various Throw-Away Guns lying around.
    • Hawkins has unlimited... well, toast, but he can find limited-use bread that fills the same role as Kurt's special ammo.
  • Bottomless Pit: Numerous. There is at least one in every level.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Played straight for the most part. Particularly egregious during the final boss battle, when you destroy Emperor Zizzy's internal organs with no signs of trauma from the outside. Averted with the Bottrocks enemies, who limp around, bleed, and attack less when they're at low health.
  • Curse Cut Short: Max, when trying to deactivate the Ultimate Doomsday Device.
    Max: Oh, sh-!
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: If you played the PS1 version of the original MDK and you decide to play the PS2 version of this game, you'll find that the controls were changed from the original for some reason. This can be somewhat rectified in the options menu, but even then, the controls may mess with you, especially if you played the original with the left analog stick, because it isn't at all useable here for some reason.
  • Deployable Cover: An interesting variation. Kurt gets access to the Sniper Shield later on - when activated, it provides 100% damage reduction from enemy attacks while he's in Sniper Mode - at the cost of drastically reducing his field of vision. The shield retracts in stages as Kurt takes damage.
  • Developer's Foresight: If you decide to leave the toaster in the kitchen as Dr. Hawkins (despite being part of the tutorial), Kermit will ask you to fetch it after cleaning out the lounge. Nothing stopping you from leaving the bread behind, though.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: If you refuse to wash your hands after using the toilet in level 3, the Jim Dandy's AI will electrocute you every time you go to leave the bathroom. It will do so until you either comply or die.
  • Ditto Aliens: All members of the same species look alike. A minor aversion in level 9, where various non-combatant Coneheads are seen in typical tourist garb.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: Goes hand in hand with Dr. Hawkins' MacGyvering gimmick. He uses it to build a leaf blower, a ladder, magnet shoes, and to plug holes in the water pipes.
  • Enemy Chatter: Best seen when Kurt is using his Cloak - aliens hum, babble, and fidget when they're not part of the action.
  • Extendo Boxing Glove: At various points on the orbiting Alien Station, Kurt and Max can find dispensers that give items for free. However, each use has a chance of triggering a punch to the face from one of these, complete with comedic sound effect.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Kurt is seen in a pair of these after being captured and having the Coil Suit taken off him.
  • Guns Akimbo: Max can wield four guns.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Kurt fails to notice the building-sized, bright purple alien sneaking up on him after the first level. He gets summarily kidnapped, and the rest of the plot follows.
  • Final-Exam Boss: You can choose which character you want to confront the final boss with. Whichever one you choose though, you will have to utilize nearly every weapon or skill possessed by that character to actually win the fight.
  • Fishbowl Helmet: Professor Hawkins uses a fishbowl (a real fishbowl — the fish was sent a few minutes earlier to override some underwater controls) and two horseshoe magnets as boots, in order to cross the space between two sections of his ship.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Applies to the original as well, for neither Shiny or BioWare have explicitly said what the MDK in the title stands for.
    • The names of the main characters are Max, Dr. Hawkins, and Kurt.
    • The title of Kurt's original mission in MDK is 'Mission: Deliver Kindness', according to the manual.
    • The installer background for PC even made fun of this, by showing Kurt in a nosedive pose with dozens of possible meanings for "MDK". The most prominent was Murder Death Kill.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Kurt's Dummy Decoys are noisy balloons with a crude image of him painted on them. They work every time - nobody seems to realise that the man running around with a gun is more dangerous than the balloon. Even when they see him throw it. Even the bosses, which are supposedly smarter than their underlings.
  • The Hedonist: This is the Grand Emperor Zizzy Balooba's modus operandi as he confesses ordering an attack on Earth just because he was bored.
  • Home Base: The Jim Dandy - a gigantic space platform orbiting the Earth. Dr. Hawkins created it so he could escape the derision of his scientific peers before the events of the first MDK. Also provides the setting for three of the game's ten levels.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Kurt and Dr. Hawkins regain health by eating entire cooked hams and drinking soda, respectively.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Dr Hawkins fights with radioactive toasts.
  • Informing the Fourth Wall: As Dr. Hawkins' levels are all about finding item combinations to progress, expect a lot of this.
    Oh, yes, I will create... er, nothing
    (as if he's figured out something) AAAAAAAH! (flatly) No.
  • Interface Screw: The final boss Emperor Zizzy can do this with his hypnotic eyes, causing your screen to slowly rotate for a while.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Kurt finds these as single-use items that last for a short while. Firing his weapons while cloaked give away his position, however.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Most enemies do this in some way or another. Some examples:
    • Hanz, the first Minecrawler Pilot in-game, shakes his fist at you before the boss battle begins.
    • Minecrawler Pilot enemies may flip you off as one of their taunts.
    • Schwang Schwing taunts you verbally and physically during your first fight with him as Kurt.
    • There are two Conehead window washers outside the Alien Orbiter in level 2. Try to shoot them, and they'll dance and fart cheerfully on their floating platforms. Do it enough, and they'll fall off and plummet straight down.
  • It Amused Me: The reason Grand Emperor Zizzy Balooba ordered the invasion - for his own amusement.
  • It's Raining Men: A hold-over from the original MDK - Kurt does an orbital drop from the Jim Dandy, dodging bullets and lasers before safely landing in the first level's minecrawler thanks to the Ribbon Chute.
  • Jenny's Number: Edmonton is located in sector 8675309.
  • Jet Pack: Max finds a jetpack that has limited fuel and must refuel at a floating fuel station. Later on, he acquires a nuclear-powered jetpack that speedily refuels itself when not in use.
  • Leitmotif: Each of the three characters has their own distinct musical style.
    • Kurt's style is a mix of orchestral music and hard beats. A variation on the "heroic" music from the introduction tends to pop up in it. Perfect for running, gliding, and sniping.
    • Max's style is hard rock and techno, appropriate for the guns-blazing setup of his levels. Sometimes the techno softens for when he's doing platforming levels instead of shooting things.
    • Hawkins' style is orchestral, and heavy on the brass and woodwinds. Sounds like a mad scientists' theme tune, that's for sure.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: At the beginning of Dr. Hawkins' second level, a cutscene shows him walking around his kitchen, picking up every random knickknack he finds. Gameplay and Story Segregation applies, though. Many of the items he's shown picking up are never seen again.
  • Mad Scientist: As if it wasn't clear enough with Dr. Fluke Hawkins, The Atomic Robot Zombie Men made by him as seen in his ending put in the nail to show this.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Dr. Hawkins owns a gigantic, friendly, talking plant named Kermit. He does, however eat aliens when they're fed to him.
  • Mook Maker: Some enemies come out of these and in a couple of levels have to be destroyed in order to progress.
  • More Dakka:
  • Multiple Endings: Depending on which character you use in the last level, you get a different end cutscene.
    • Kurt becomes a hero on earth. Wishing to avoid the attention, he retires to the Jim Dandy, happy to go back to a life of relative peace.
    • Max decides his ambition is too great to be a pet/lab assistant, so he becomes King of the aliens in place of the Big Bad.
    • Hawkins gets recognition for his genius (and craziness) and embarks on his next big project - Atomic Robot Zombie Men!
  • Mythology Gag: The second invasion's first target is Edmonton,note  in reference to MDK 1's first level, Laguna Beach.note 
  • Non Standard Game Over:
    • Getting sucked into Kurt's Black Hole Grenade leads to a black screen.
    • Triggering a bomb as Dr. Hawkins (or igniting a rocket in a sealed room) leads to a short cutscene of the Jim Dandy exploding, complete with Planar Shockwave.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The Jim Dandy has liquid plutonium leaking from an open barrel, highly-explosive rockets lying around with fuses ready to be lit, a big switch that vents the entire room into space, two entire rooms filled with toxic green sludge, and not a single safety rail to be seen on the various lifts, catwalks, and platforms.
  • One-Handed Shotgun Pump: Max always holding every gun only in one hand so he can maintain his quadruple akimbo does this with the shotgun by waving it upwards into vertical position (probably with the aid of its recoil) and back into horizontal position again. That or the shotgun is actually semi-automatic.
  • Platform-Activated Ability: Dr. Hawkins can use his makeshift ladder only at cetrain spots designated by a small square of peculiar design on the ground.
  • Tempting Fate: Oh, Dr. Hawkins. Every time.
    (before minecrawler alarm sounds) Yes, it's all... over.
    (before being boarded) My ship is 100% impenetrable!
    (before being kidnapped) If we can just keep our pants on, our luck may be changing...
    (before teleporting himself into the middle of an alien city by mistake) Just a few simple console taps, and teleport comp...*ZAP!!* Beat ...lete?
  • Tentative Light: Subtle, and played for laughs. It's never necessary to use Dr. Hawkins' lighter to do so, but you can activate it to provide a small amount of light around yourself. After a few seconds, it goes out and you burn yourself.
  • Trick Bullet: Kurt gets access to bouncing sniper bullets in some levels - primarily used to activate switches around corners.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Kurt focuses on somewhat tactical gunplay and platforming, Max is about brute forcing everything in sight with lots of Throw-Away Guns and jetpack sequences, and Dr. Hawkins relies on jury-rigged weapons and solving puzzles.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: Kurt gets access to a Black Hole Grenade every so often. It generates a black hole that sucks in only living creatures, then vanishes with a loud pop after a few seconds. Kurt is also a living creature.
  • Updated Re-release: MDK2 HD. Consists of mostly visual updates, but some gameplay elements have been tweaked.
    • Max gets the ability to replenish his ammunition from gun pickups. His ammo reserves are also slightly larger.
    • The Chuckleberry Finn puzzle is completely removed.
  • Vague Hit Points: When an enemy is hit, their Life Meter is displayed but there's no exact numeric value of how many Hit Points the enemy has, nor how much damage has been dealt.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Whenever Dr. Hawkins drinks Plutonium and turns into Hyde, his only vocalisations become strangely high-pitched.
  • War for Fun and Profit: Why did the Minecrawlers attack Earth again? The Big Bad did it for his entertainment.