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Video Game / Ion Fury

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Ion Fury (formerly Ion Maiden) is a first person shooter developed by Voidpoint and published by 3D Realms. It's a prequel to 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment's Bombshell, and is meant to be a throwback to older shooters like Duke Nukem 3D, Blood, and Shadow Warrior. In fact, it even uses a heavily-modified version of the Build Engine, making it one of the first commercially released games since Team TNT's World War II GI (released 1999) to use the engine.

Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison earned her codename as a bomb disposal expert for the Global Defense Force. When transhumanist cult mastermind Dr. Jadus Heskel unleashes a cybernetic army on Neo DC, Shelly decides it’s time to start chucking bombs rather than defusing them.

The game was released on Steam on August 15th, 2019, after a period in Early Access. PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch versions will be released later.


This game contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Shelly.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Heskel's House of Horrors.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Just before reaching a Point of No Return, the game will tell you how many secrets you've missed up until that point, so you don't miss your chance for a 100% completion.
    • Security camera monitors are frequently placed to show the location of the key you will need to progress, or the door that is opened by the switch right next to the monitor.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Shooting enemies in the head deals extra damage, and may cause their heads to blow apart like watermelons.
  • Bond One-Liner: Much like Lo Wang, Shelly is fond of spouting out one-liners after killing enemies.
  • Building of Adventure: The entirety of Zone 3, except for the secret level, takes place in the skyscraper that acts as the Heskel Institution HQ, beginning from the entrance and lobby, all the way to the rooftop, where a boss battle takes place.
  • Advertisement:
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Dr. Heskel has a recruitment poster for his evil organization, down to having 666 and "Evil" in the number.
  • Cyberpunk: 20 Minutes into the Future Mega City with Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain under attack of evil cyborgs of Mega-Corp led by a Mad Scientist.
  • Charged Attack: The secondary fire of the Ion Bow allows you to charge the weapon to fire multiple bolts in a spread pattern at once. It can be overcharged, in which case it will fire a whole clip of bolts at a rapid rate of fire, with devastating results.
  • Cyborg: Most of the enemies are this.
  • Derivative Differentiation: Inverted. The game embraces Shelly's original intention as a Distaff Counterpart to Duke Nukem, complete with the gameplay being more like 3D, rather than the top-down shooter her own self-titled game was.
  • Double Tap: Loverboy's secondary fire aims for an enemy's head and rapidly fires two bullets there.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: The boss fight against the Mega Brutalizer Twins takes places on a funicular as it is ascending.
  • Gatling Good: One of the weapons is a minigun ripped from the Warmech. It is powerful enough to tear enemies to shreds.
  • Genre Throwback: To Build Engine games such as Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, and Blood.
  • Glass Cannon: Bombshell herself, at any difficulty level beyond the easiest. She has a sizable arsenal so she deals damage by the ton, but she isn't so good at taking it - even with full health and armor, going guns blazing against several enemies at the same time can kill you surprisingly quickly. This is a game that you play with cover and ammunition economy in mind; if you play it like you'd play Duke Nukem 3D you will die a lot.
    • The red cyborgs. They're armed with the sniper bow so they deal a ton of damage even when they don't happen to score a random headshot and One-Hit Kill you on the spot, but they're still just basic grunts, so they'll go down to a secondary double-tap from the revolver.
  • Guns Akimbo: The SMGs. The trope is somewhat played with, as they start out akimbo so you don't have to pick up a second SMG or otherwise enable the feature like in other games. You are instead given the option of specifically choosing to wield a single one, which is usually actually preferable as otherwise they go through ammo like popcorn and lose quite a lot of accuracy.
  • Hand Cannon: Shelly's standard pistol, the huge "Loverboy" revolver, which holds eighteen rounds and shoots three at a time.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Inverted. Both this game and Bombshell have fewer sexual overtones than Duke Nukem 3D.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Each comes with a progressively bloodier picture of Shelly's face and a description.
    • First Blood (Easy difficulty. Great for new players or those who just want to have fun.)
    • Wanton Carnage (Normal difficulty. The intended experience for the average player.)
    • Ultra Viscera (Hard difficulty. A highly challenging mode for veterans.)
    • Maximum Fury (Hardcore mode. You die a lot and then uninstall the game. Not for first timers...)
  • Killer Cop: Shelly is quite fond of excessive force.
  • Killer Robot: The Warmech is this.
  • Large Ham: You can tell Jon St. John was having fun when voicing the Big Bad.
  • Lawman Baton: Shelly's melee weapon of choice.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: As is standard for '90s FPSes, body parts tend to fly everywhere, especially when explosives are involved. You even get rewarded for causing this; armor shards spawn from gibbed enemies.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Jadus Heskel, the Big Bad.
  • Nintendo Hard: If you're familiar with the Build engine games of old, then it will not come as a surprise this one is also hard as nails, with even the lowliest mooks being able to quickly dish out massive damage, especially on higher difficulties.
  • Non Standard Game Over: If Shelly ends up taking a fall that will kill her, as she falls, you will see the message "You're definitely going to die... Press USE to scream." In addition, just before she hits the ground, the game fades to black quickly and, just as quickly, brings up the standard bloody "YOU DIED" screen with the sound of a body hitting the ground really hard. And no, you don't get to see your health go to zero with a dead/partially exploded/totally headless Shelly portrait.
  • No Transhumanism Allowed: The reason for Dr. Heskel's turn to evil, following an unpleasant consequence of his cyborg technology leading to a ban.
  • Not Quite Dead: While not outright shown, the fact that Heskel is still around in Bombshell as the Big Bad definitely this.
  • One-Hit Kill: you can deal this to most enemies if you hit them in the head - see Boom, Headshot! example above - but importantly, *so can they*. The red cyborgs with the sniper bow in particular will occasionally score a headshot against you and drop you on the spot, regardless of how much health and armor you have.
  • One-Woman Army and Sole Survivor: It's all but outright stated that Shelly is the last of the GDF, and she is the only one that can bring the fight to Heskel and his cyborg armies.
  • Percussive Maintenance: There are certain generators that can only be activated by whacking them with your stun baton.
  • Prequel: The events of Ion Fury take place before Bombshell.
  • Reference Overdosed: There is a ludicrous amount of Easter eggs that reference other media. These videos show you how much.
  • Retraux: Ion Fury is made to look as much like an old-school FPS as possible, down to using the old tools and methods of the time and even having palette emulation.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Bombshell's starting gun is the "Loverboy", a ridiculously oversized, three-barreled revolver. Unlike most starting guns you won't only remember it exists when you run out of ammo for everything else, as it's precise enough to reliably snipe with (and with a lot more ammo available than the dedicated sniper weapon) and its autoaiming secondary remains extremely useful for the duration.
  • Secondary Fire: Every single weapon in the game has one. For example, the hammer of Shelly's "Loverboy" revolver can lock on to multiple targets with hold-and-release, and the Disperser shotgun can switch to a grenade launcher with a press of the button.
  • Secret Level: There is one in the game. It is the super secret of Zone 3.
  • Severed Head Sports: Taking a page from Blood, you can kick around the still-bloody skulls of gibbed foes.
  • Shout-Out: Wooh boy is there a lot of em.
    • The main menu art is an homage to the title screen of Wolfenstein 3D.
    • Similarly, the first key art for Ion Fury was fashioned after the box art for the PlayStation version of Doom.
    • One of the secrets in the game (or at least the Preview Campaign) is a test chamber lifted right out of the Portal games, complete with a Companion Cube and a fake cake. Shelly even mutters to herself, "They promised me cake..."
      • In the same secret, it's written in the wall "Cops Are Pigs". Clear reference to Duke Nukem 3D.
    • Another secret is a room containing hanged hooks and a bloody mattress with a spinning block coming from the inside from Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Shelly shouts "Holy shit!", quoting Tiffany.
    • There's a secret trash-covered hideout which references Aliens, containing Casey, Newt's head doll. Shelly quotes Hudson by saying: "I wonder if there's a sharp stick?"
    • As another secret, there's the very same red room from Twin Peaks. Shelly comments with a quote from Fire Walk With Me: "Now ain't this dreamy?"
    • A whole lot of graffiti around the maps are shoutouts to FPSes of the 90s.
      • More specifically, there's poster promoting Jadus Heskel's homicidal services, that has a set of six pictograms depicting various ways to die. All six come from the original Rise of the Triad's quit messages.
    • One of the one-liners that Shelly spouts to the enemies is "Dodge this!". Another is "The quarterback is toast!"
    • Upon getting the Ion Bow, Shelly quotes Clarence Boddicker.
    • When infiltrating the titular building in the Heskel's House of Horrors map, Shelly quips "I am the one who knocks".
    • In the kitchen area of the Heskel's House of Horrors map you can activate a microwave oven. Doing so will prompt Shelly to ask "Is that a hamster"? then the oven will get covered in blood from the inside with an audible pop.
    • In one secret area in Heskel's House of Horrors, you can find the dead body of Dangerous Dave.
    • The logo of the Haskell programming language appears in the walls in several places in the Washington Wasteland section of the preview campaing. And considering it appears in Dr. Heskel's recruitment poster mentioned before, it also makes Heskel's name a Punny Name.
    • After taking the elevator at the end of the first map of the preview campaing Shelly will quip "So much for the express elevator to hell."note 
    • A flyer for Big Bill Hell's can be found.
    • There's graffiti that says "They put dog meat in your burger", referencing the Duke Burger level from Duke Nukem 3D
    • "Mark's Relationship Counseling Service" advertises itself with the quote "I did not hit her. It's not true. IT'S BULLSHIT! I did not hit her. I DID NOT!"
    • The last level of the first zone features the apartment from Hardware in a secret area, complete with M.A.R.K. 13's skull lying in the shower.
    • In the mall in the D.C. Meltdown level you can find one of the killer robots from Chopping Mall hidden in a secret area.
    • In the first level there is a building named "Bennett's Steam" and inside it there is a man impaled with a pipe.
    • The super secret area from Zone 1 is the titular room from Silent Hill 4: The Room.
    • The super secret area from Zone 2 contains Max Damage's car.
    • The super secret area from Zone 4 is a reference to Chernobyl, complete with an A3-5 (AZ-5 in Latin alphabet) button and Dyatlov's "not great, not terrible" quote.
    • The super secret from Zone 5 involves shooting the moon until it crashes down, exactly as you could do in Terminator: Future Shock, complete with "Ouch!" messages.
    • The super secret area from Zone 6 is a recreation of the lab room where you fight the Tyrant in the first Resident Evil game. You can even find Jill's hat there.
    • The Game Over screen that appears if you wait a few moments before restarting the level consists of a bloody "YOU DIED" which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Game Over screen of the original Resident Evil games.
    • The cheat code "IMLIKEMAX" lets you "Feel the Payne" with Bullet Time.
    • A particularly hard to reach secret area in the first map holds an origami unicorn, at which Shelly comments "Like tears in rain."
    • Yet another of Shelly's one-liners is "Laputan machine!"
    • Not two minutes into the first level of the retail edition you'll find an arcade whose games all sport art from old platform games by Apogee (which would later become 3DRealms).
  • Shows Damage: Shelly’s face in the bottom left corner of the screen becomes bloodier as your health drops. Sounds familiar, right?
  • Standard Fps Guns: Considering the game, it stands to reason that most of the old archetypes would be around in some form:
    • Knife: The Electrifryer, an electrified riot baton.
    • Pistol: The Loverboy. Also doubles as a Revolver, since its headshots and alt-fire do good damage.
    • Shotgun/Grenade Launcher: The Disperser. One alt-mode's a shotgun with decent range; the other mode swaps out the buckshot cannisters for explosive rounds.
    • Automatic Weapon: The Penetrator, a submachine gun with incendiary rounds. Can be dual-wielded with alt-fire.
    • Grenades: Two flavors - The Bowling Bombs, and the Clusterpucks.
    • Marksman Gun: The Ion Bow, which has decent tracking, stunlocks certain enemies, and can usually kill with a headshot.
    • BFG: The Chaingun, with high-caliber rounds that can rip through just about anything in short order.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: A good portion of Shelly's arsenal are explosives, so this will often happen in any given combat.
  • Take That!: Duke Nukem's outfit can be seen in a store window before the preview Campaign bossfight, to which Shelly can remark "Where's that big head of yours? Don't answer."
    • A poster in a ladies restroom takes a jab at a certain TV station: "WTF: We were cool when coke was cheap!"
  • Tamer and Chaster: Bombshell's actual incarnation from her eponymous game and this game is very much less sexualized than her previous ones from the 90s when she's supposed to be Duke Nukem's partner in his latest game.
    • The game itself also lacks strippers and nudity, although innuendos still remain.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Bowling Bombs are an iconic weapon in Shelly's arsenal and can be tossed around (or rolled around if you're crouching) in a similar fashion to dynamite in Blood — that is, the longer you hold the fire button down, the farther the bombs are thrown. What's more, if your enemies are thinking of running out of the blast radius, that ain't gonna happen — the bombs home in on them before exploding. However, the laws of physics still apply, and the bombs will eventually roll to a halt if they don't hit anything, but you can pick them back up, should that happen (or just toss another bomb at them).
    • The Heskel's House of Horror update added an alternate fire to the bombs where Shelly lights the fuse before throwing, making them function similar to traditional FPS grenades, and added a power-up that gives you unlimited bowling bombs and maxes out your throwing power for its duration.
  • Waxing Lyrical: Shelly sometimes quotes The Offspring by saying "you gotta keep them separated" amidst carnage.

Alternative Title(s): Ion Maiden


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