MDK (which may stand for "Murder, Death, Kill", but is jokingly given the name "Mission: Deliver Kindness" in-game) is a third-person shooter from Shiny Entertainment. In it, the player takes control of Kurt Hectic, a janitor of the eccentric Dr. Fluke Hawkins. Without warning, aliens known as Stream Riders invade Earth, and are using city size mining machines to harvest its natural resources, and whatever else gets in their way. However, the good doctor has foreseen this threat and plans a counter attack. He entrusts his latest inventions, including the "amazing" Coil Suit, and the "extraordinary" chain-gun, to our hero Kurt. With the occasional help of his six-legged canine companion Bones (AKA, Max), Kurt takes the fight into the heart of the enemy stronghold.
Battles take place in large arenas linked by tunnels (which are actually just cleverly disguised loading screens). After dispatching various waves of enemies, Kurt moves on to the next arena. The variety of the arenas is a highlight, from typical war zones to prisons to childish painted walls that add to the game's bizarre sense of humor. How many other games feature " the world's smallest nuclear bomb"? As a treat for fans of Earthworm Jim (Shiny's key franchise), some levels included cows falling from the sky onto enemies if the right power-up was found.
MDK's developers capitalized on ground breaking Motion Capture technology. This led to some of the best animation and graphics of its day. It also provided spectacular environments and some of the most original concepts seen in gaming. From the bizarre head gear Kurt is forced to wear, which doubles as a sniper rifle and chain gun, to the "incredible" ribbon chute, MDK's character design makes it one of the more original PC shooters. It found itself on consoles soon after.
MDK's story is set in the form of a diary of an eccentric inventor, named Dr. Fluke Hawkins. Dr. Hawkins discovers something that he humorously calls "Flange Orbits," but when he relates this to the scientific community, he is shunned and ridiculed.
Dr. Fluke Hawkins then goes out to build a space station, which he names 'The Jim Dandy.' He then bribes his laboratory janitor (Kurt Hectic) to join him by giving him some Hungarian goulash, and blasts himself into a self-imposed exile in outer space, swearing never to return until he "comes up with some really good stuff." Upon entering orbit, he realizes that the "Flange Orbits" he theorized about didn't actually exist. Rather than go back to Earth humiliated, he begins to work on a robotic dog that Dr. Hawkins calls "Bones" (the dog prefers " Max").
Dr. Hawkins continues work in harmony until he one day notices a strange phenomenon: long streams of some sort of energy are heading straight for the Earth. The Doctor sent down a warning (along with a basket of Max's delicious oranges) but was promptly ignored. The streams proceeded to create massive hordes of enemies in "Minecrawlers," giant fortress-cities designed to strip the mineral wealth (and potato crop, according to Dr. Hawkins) from the planet. The military forces of Earth were swiftly crushed by the alien invasion.
Dr. Hawkins decides to take immediate action. Pairing his new "Coil Suit", a revolutionary, futuristic armor suit capable of repelling "bullets, bees, and small but very hard sticks" that holds a retractable/re-usable "ribbon chute" for parachuting and/or gliding. The suit also contains an arm-mounted chaingun that also serves as a head-mounted sniper rifle, Dr. Hawkins had the perfect weapons suit at his disposal but there was one problem. Kurt was the only one who could wear it, due to the Doctor's age and Max's extra pair of legs.
So Kurt, begrudgingly, was dispatched on "Mission: Deliver Kindness," entering the Minecrawlers from above, and destroying them from the inside-out. He shot his way through to the "drivers," typically killing them in some rather violent fashion. Kurt fought his way though all the Minecrawlers, destroying them one by one, until he eventually came to meet Gunter Glut, the hideous leader of the alien invasion.
Kurt destroyed the final Minecrawler but Glut managed to escape with Max in captivity, Kurt gives chase along a stream leading to the alien homeworld. In the end, Kurt frees Max and kills Glut, ending the game. The ending is a surreal, monochrome mix of a French pop music video and clips from MDK for no discernible reason.
The cinematic-like soundtrack was composed and produced by Todd Dennis and Tommy Tallarico, which managed to aid the visual narrative and help shape the world of MDK. It provides another unique feel to the game, from the triumphant score of the title screen, to the industrial beats of the battle ground. It was release in 1997.
|Track No.||Title||Running Time|
The Enemy Among Us
Facing the Inevitable
An Upscale Affair
Portrait of an Insane Asylum
A Padded Cell
Dreaming of Victory
MDK (Planet Trax remix)
PC System Requirements
- Operating System
- Processor: 90 MHz CPU
- RAM Memory
- Hard Drive Space: 37 MB
- Graphics Card
- Sound Card: SoundBlaster Compatible