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MDK

aka: Murder Death Kill
Moby ID: 344
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

In this 3D shoot 'em up, you play Kurt, and your job is to save the world. Aliens have sent 8 giant fortresses to destroy earth. You run and jump through 6 missions of strange 3D worlds and kill the "Stream Riders" with your machine gun arm. Precise platform jumps are part of the challenge.

Kurt is equipped with a special battle suit with an included parachute and a sniper interface (allowing you to aim precise shooting while standing still) embedded in your helmet. Further weaponry enhancements are available as you progress through the game.

Spellings

  • 亡命暗殺令 - Traditional Chinese spelling
  • 孤胆枪手 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (DOS version)

67 People (39 developers, 28 thanks) · View all

Executive Producer
Producer
Associate Producer
QA Lead
Testing Staff
Sales and Marketing
Marketing Manager
Business Affairs
Sound Design
Original Concept
Designed in equal parts by
Additional Design
Programming & Tools
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 86% (based on 43 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 154 ratings with 10 reviews)

Funny,original, epic & just plain awesome!

The Good
M.D.K (stands for murder death kill?? max doctor kurt?? mother's day kiss?? whatever...) was really groundbreaking in it's time back then in 1997. You play as kurt & your job is to terminate the alien bastards out of this world(for saving earth). You have six missions/levels which you will travel & kick some alien ass. Mdk was the first game (at least on the pc) that had a sniper. Boss battles are just awesome & creative . The graphics (for it's time) were unbelievable, you really felt like part of a living world. The atmosphere while post-apocalyptic has a heavy comedic feeling. Also the soundtrack is definitely a plus, it's helping making the game a powerful & epic experience.

The Bad
Well the game was way way way to short-> only 6 missions(at least they are long ones). another problem is the fact the game can get repetitive at times.

The Bottom Line
Great game! very close to a masterpiece( & some may say it is) By far Shiny's best& one of the best gaming experiences ever.

Windows · by BlackNightmare (259) · 2004

A fun, fast shooter that's a breeze to play

The Good
MDK is an almost perfect blend of fun shooter. The emphasis of the game is enjoying it, not trying to think about things too much, but to sit and feel the game experience wash over, making it a breath of fresh air to play. Taking the role of Kurt, equipped with a fancy suit that allows for gliding, shooting, sniping and others you face a whole series of mild, shooting based challenges taking out the most comedy of comedy aliens.

The game never immerses itself in any sense of seriousness about what you're doing with aliens who play peek-a-boo with you and levels which are like an enormous kids playground. The controls have been well thought out and are intuitive to use allowing for fast game play.

The Bad
I've no real negative comments about this game, some may consider it too short, but I like short games. Being developed for consoles too means there's check-point style saving, but in a fun and frantic game like this saving halfway through an action sequence would detract from the manic fun.

The Bottom Line
Looking for a fun game that's a world away from heavy games that try to make you believe serious reasons why you should shoot up aliens? This is the one.

DOS · by RussS (807) · 2009

A cult-classic from the mid 90's.

The Good
MDK is one of my all time favorite games. I just keep coming back to it because I just love everything about it. It's universe, and just the fun of blasting my enemies' heads off with a sniper rifle.

A little about the story: In MDK you are Kurt Hectic, a skinny janitor that is "chosen" to save the earth from evil aliens called Stream Riders. They have come to earth just to crush us, and now Kurt is being sent to the 5 giant trucks that's doing the crushin'. He must battle each commander of these giant trucks and put an end to the final boss, Gunter Glut, the leader of the aliens. A very simple plot, but I like it.

The graphics are just stunning for a game of its age. This was the time of Quake where you would run around in small corridors, and here MDK just launches with an arsenal of huge arenas! This game has some of the most memorable game scenes of the 90's, especially the glass world. Everything is reflected in the surfaces and you really get the feeling of being in a really huge world, giving the game a very epic feel. And it never lags! Promise! I can run this on my brother's stone age Windows 98 computer and it never lags! And not to mention in the first level where you fly over a huge arena bombing aliens and buildings, that just feels incredible. Although the worlds seem polygonal today, the textures and the small details in this game makes it very varied. I still prefer the Windows version over the PlayStation version because the PS1 version had to cut down most of the graphics and using weird scaling methods to make them appeal bigger.

The controls are great. It kind of feels like playing Doom in 3rd perspective, which should give you some idea on how it feels. Very smooth controls that never feel overcomplicated.

The gameplay is really varied too. There are small minigames hidden inside MDK, but they blend with the main gameplay nicely. The level design is also so linear that getting lost is almost impossible. This is what want games to have. I never were so fond of non-linear worlds, because you easily get confused and don't know what to do next. MDK is like old railshooters. Just go straight forward on the path. But there are secrets too of course. Plenty of them, but you can never get confused in MDK, which I think makes it even much more of a classic. Even though the levels are linear, as mentioned before, they feel really big. Each level is composed of several stages, serving as levels within the levels, and the design and gameplay of these levels can vary pretty much, making MDK a very short game that feels like it's huge. Also, the guys at Shiny bring in tons of mad humor, greatly toning down the seriousness of it all. And that's what I like about this game, it never gets to serious! It feels like a breath of fresh air compared to Quake and other action games. It's epic and dark, but there's always some quirky reference or hilarious twist in there to keep you laughing while being blasted by thousands of evil aliens. One of the things to mention is the powerups. Who would've thought the world's smallest nuclear bomb would be used merely to open locks? And how can the aliens take over earth if they are too stupid to notice the difference between the real Kurt and his sidekick, the inflatable dummy decoy? It's just those little details that make MDK a serious action game with humor.

The music is just awesome. Shiny did a right thing in hiring Tommy Tallarico because he gives so much atmosphere to the experience. And the music reflects the level design in variety. Everything from epic rock anthems(Stranger Things, Vengeful Alien), to tribal jungle rythms and big epic themes(title music). The music is pretty much the reason I continue returning to MDK. It feels like being in a really cool movie. The sound effects sound pretty stock, but they never really bring down the experience. Hell, Doom even used stock sounds, but I don't think people mind as long as they fit and don't sound out of place. The voices of the aliens are sometimes incredibly comedic and I can promise you you'll sometimes just laugh your ass off at their speech. And I just love that metallic scream from Kurt Hectic when he dive into the giant cities. "WOAAAAAAAH!!!" I sometimes scream with him.

Also, in the end you get to see a music video. I've NEVER seen that before. A music video!

The Bad
It's a huge game that just feels short when you've finished it. You kinda long for something more. Also, I would love to be able to play this game multiplayer with someone. Either deathmatches or co-operative sessions. But I figure MDK is still great without that, because it focuses on the single player experience, which is just great. But I'd wish they just use more of the world they had created. Also I'd wish they'd include the FMV they had in the PS1 version, because it's so cool to watch, even today. Another thing I hated was the censored version where the blood was colored blue instead of green, and many of the sound effects were replaced to tone down the violence.

Something I also don't like about MDK in general, is that I'm confused about what MDK stands for. But I guess for me it'll always stand for Massive Dose of Kickass!!!

PS: I've heard people complain about the save feature in the initial release but in the version I played I was still able to save anywhere in the game with F2... so what's the big deal?

The Bottom Line
How to describe a work of art? MDK must be played to be believed. Even today with all the realistic and serious games, MDK feels fresh. It has humor without being too silly or cheesy. It still has that epic feel to it. I recommend MDK to anyone who hasn't played it because you are really missing out on a great game.

Windows · by x0n1c64 (12) · 2007

[ View all 10 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Tips Jim Seward Mar 6, 2013
MDK game series fansite Mnich47 (2) Nov 27, 2010
Stuck in level 3 vedder (70802) Apr 3, 2010

Trivia

1001 Video Games

MDK appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Advertising

Early ads for MDK appeared with the slogan: "Prepare for a religious experience." The game's slogan was later changed to: "On a good day, 2.5 billion people will die".

Development

According to MDK developer diary (August 1st, 1996), one level of the game was developed by demosceners.

German version

In the German version the green blood was re-coloured blue and gore effects (cut off limbs, exploding heads after headshots) were removed. Additional changes are the removed "headshot" statistic and different, less human sounding screams for the kamikaze aliens. A detailed list of changes can be found on schnittberichte.com (German).

iMac

MDK was one of two video games, alongside Nanosaur, that were bundled with Apple's original 1998 iMac when it launched in August of 1998. The game was not included with the later (1999) Rev. C, Rev. D, and Rev. DV/SE iMac models.

Intro

The PC version does not have an intro movie (only the Playstation version does), but you can clearly see pieces of the intro in the final video after beating the game, albeit in black in white (intro was made in glorious color).

Movie

There was a plan to make a Hollywood movie based on MDK, but obviously this didn't come about. Shiny also got an offer for an animated series, but they didn't accept since they were holding out for the movie.

Music video

The music video that plays at the end of the game is from the song "Non, Non, Rien N'a Changé" by the French band Billy Ze Kick and whom the development team are apparently fans of (they even urge you to buy their CD's on the readme file... good luck finding any!). The song appeared on the band's 1996 album Paniac and was released as a single in 1997.

North American Edition

The PC version of MDK sold in North America and Canada had a bright yellow sticker proclaiming 'Exclusive North America Edition!' (see Cover Art section). It is not known if there are any differences to the other versions.

References

  • In the sled-surfing sequences you'll find a unique power-up not found legally elsewhere in the game (sometimes hidden on an overhead opening you can jump to instead of continuing through the main courses, sometimes laying in plain sight. The hidden arena 9 in world 5, only reachable by using the "givemealliwant" cheat, contains more of them.) These power-ups are actually the face of Jim from Shiny's Earthworm Jim. Get them and for each one you catch a cow will fall on top of your enemies.
  • The first minecrawler you must fight is heading towards Laguna beach. This is where Shiny's development studio was located at the time.

References to the game

The PlayStation version of the game can be seen played during the very first scene of an episode of the science fiction series The X-Files. Series 5 episode 9 "Schizogeny" starts with a full close up of the games running, and then it pans across to the main character of the story who is playing it.

Soundtrack

There is a soundtrack disc for MDK by Tommy Tallarico. It was released in 1997. The soundtrack can be bought at http://www.synsoniq.com

Tracklist:

  1. Prologue
  2. Stranger Things
  3. The Enemy Among Us
  4. Facing the Inevitable
  5. An Upscale Affair
  6. Vengeful Alien
  7. Grenich Time
  8. Portrait of an Insane Asylum
  9. A Padded Cell
  10. New Territories
  11. Dreaming of Victory
  12. Starship
  13. Gunter Planet
  14. World Militia
  15. Tribal Unity
  16. Crossfire
  17. Bounty Hunter
  18. MDK (Planet Trax Remix)

The soundtrack disc was packaged along with the game itself in Germany, where it sold over 50,000 copies.

Title

The meaning of "MDK" was the subject of many discussions. The most popular interpretations are:

  • Mission: Deliver Kindness (From the manual)
  • Max, Dr. Hawkins, Kurt (the protagonists)
  • Murder, Death, Kill (from the 1993 movie Demolition Man)

When asked, each MDK developer said that MDK stands for something different:

  • My Diary something beginning with K
  • My Dog Ken
  • Million Dollar Ko
  • Massive Dollops of Ketchup

In the FAQ section of the readme.txt file of MDK, the developers state that "MDK" does not stand for anything special, and can be whatever you want it to stand for, such as Mother's Day Kisses.

In a 2009 interview, Perry stated that "Murder Death Kill" was the title used for the first internal promotional video but had to be replaced because a planned toy line.

Information also contributed by Agent 5, Atomic Punch!, Dmichal, festershinetop, MAT, Maw, Mickey Gabel, Sheldonist, shifter and Zovni

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by robotriot.

Browser added by Sciere. PlayStation added by Adam Baratz. Antstream added by lights out party. Macintosh added by Mullet of Death.

Additional contributors: Ray Soderlund, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Игги Друге, Peter Ferrie, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, Mnich47, Plok, FatherJack, WONDERなパン.

Game added November 1, 1999. Last modified March 19, 2024.