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Video Game / Ion Maiden

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Ion Maiden is an upcoming 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 is available for purchase on Steam through Early Access, with an exclusive Preview Campaign available to play in that period. The final game will be released on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch sometime in the second quarter of 2019, with physical copies courtesy of 1C Publishing, who have partnered with 3D Realms to co-publish the game.


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.
  • 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.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Dr. Heskel has a recruitment poster for his evil organization, down to having 666 and "Evil" in the number.
  • 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.
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  • Gatling Good: One of the weapons is a minigun ripped from the Warmech. It's only available in the game's horde mode (where it's the only weapon you have, albeit with infinite ammo), and in Heskel's House of Horrors. It is powerful enough to tear enemies to shreds.
  • Guns Akimbo: As of the "Heskel's House of Horrors" update, you can dual wield SMGs if you find a second one.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Inverted. Both this game and Bombshell has fewer sexual overtones than Duke Nukem 3D.
  • Killer Cop: Shelly is quite fond of excessive force.
  • Killer Robot: The Warmech is this.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • No Transhumanism Allowed: The reason for Dr. Heskel's turn to evil, following an unpleasant consequence of his cyborg technology leading to a ban.
  • Prequel: The events of Ion Maiden take place before Bombshell.
  • Retraux: Ion Maiden 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, it isn't completely useless, doing a decent amount of damage per shot.
  • Secondary Fire: Every single weapon in the game has one. For example, the hammer of Shelly's "Loverboy" revolver can be fanned for maximum damage, and the Disperser shotgun can switch to a grenade launcher with a press of the button.
  • Severed Head Sports: Taking a page from Blood, you can kick around the still-bloody skulls of gibbed foes.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The main menu art is an homage to the title screen of Wolfenstein 3D.
    • Similarly, this key art for Ion Maiden is 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!"
    • When infiltrating the titular building in the Heskel's House of Horrors map, Shelly quips "I am the one who knocks".
    • In one secret area in Heskel's House of Horrors, you can find the dead body of Dangerous Dave.
  • 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 Ion Maiden 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.
  • 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.

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