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Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza is another game based on the 1988 blockbuster action movie Die Hard starring Bruce Willis. Unlike other Die Hard games, Nakatomi Plaza works to retell the story in-game as much as possible, allowing you to witness many of the film's events (or participate in them!) from inside the tender bare feet of protagonist John McClane.

Many areas from the film (and by extension, the actual Fox Tower where the film was shot) are reproduced with careful detail, and will be instantly recognizable to fans. The game reuses sound effects and background music from the film, along with imitators for the main actors (with the exception of Reginald Vel Johnson, who reprises his role from the film).

Details also include using a lighter to navigate dark air ducts, an arsenal true to what was seen in the film, and a character who shoots all his guns left-handed (Bruce Wills is a lefty in real life, and in the film). The player is governed by three meters - health, stamina, and resolve. Health tracks the hits a player can take, stamina tracks how long they can run, and resolve grants accuracy bonuses as the player kills terrorists (confident), but makes the player a worse shot as they take damage or are pinned down by gunfire (afraid).

Nakatomi Plaza follows Die Hard's plot to the letter. The player controls New York cop John McClane as he visits his estranged wife in L.A. during her company's Christmas party. Terrorists arrive and take over the massive Nakatomi Plaza office building, trapping all inside. The player must fight through waves of goons (with numbers substantially increased for the game) to rescue his wife and stop the leader Hans. The game also includes expanded levels and sequences, meant to suggest what John was doing in the time that other outside events or character discussions were going on in the film.


Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza Windows John does the right thing - he escapes!
Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza Windows Your wife Holly
Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza Windows The evil hax0r (note how detailed his face is - very good models!)
Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza Windows Nakatomi Plaza lobby

Promo Images

Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza Magazine Advertisement
Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza Magazine Advertisement
Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza Magazine Advertisement

Alternate Titles

  • "Stirb langsam: Nakatomi Plaza" -- German title
  • "Duro de Matar: Nakatomi Plaza" -- Brazilian title
  • "Die Hard: Pi├Ęge de Cristal" -- French title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

"Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho." Atomic Punch! (194) 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars
"Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker!" phlux (4333) unrated

Critic Reviews

Game industry News (GiN) 2002 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Game Captain Jun 04, 2002 78 out of 100 78 Jun 03, 2002 14 out of 20 70
Gameplay (Benelux) Jun 29, 2002 69 out of 100 69
GameSpy May 12, 2002 69 out of 100 69
Joystick (French) Jun, 2002 67 out of 100 67
Svenska PC Gamer Jun, 2002 59 out of 100 59
Gamekult Jun 21, 2002 5 out of 10 50
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) Jun 07, 2002 2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars 50
Génération 4 Jun, 2002 1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars 20


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While most characters have photorealistic textures as face skins so they look like the movie character, it seems Fox didn't have the license for every actor - while Mr. Takagi really looks like the actor who played him in the blockbuster, compare for example the movie "Ellis" to the game "Ellis" (in the screenshots section) and you'll see what I mean. Bruce Willis' likeliness is oddly absent as well.


One of the mini-bosses can be dealt with by non-weapon mean, and another can be defeated NOT by applying direct firepower. The alternate solutions only appear on two of the 30 levels, but are very entertaining when you do find them.


This game was originally going to be an elaborate, fan-made "total conversion" for Duke Nukem 3D. The textures were to all be bitmaps of real-life items, with frame-accurate recreations of all locations from the film. The team's (Creative Creations) website (deleted long ago) displayed extremely impressive images from test levels, and side-by-side comparisons with frames from the film. The team even engineered a phony meeting in Fox Plaza (the "real" Nakatomi Plaza in Century City), posing as representatives interested in leasing space in the building, to shoot reference and detail images for scanning into the game.

About the time they posted this bit of trickery on their website, the site went down, and the TC was thought to be lost. Mention of it reappeared in Feburary 1999 on, now to be running as a mod for Half-Life and utilising the advanced scripting capabilities of that engine. The mod was renamed to Nakatomi Plaza.

After E3 1999, work and updates to the mod ceased, ending in the website simply saying "CREATIVE CREATION'S SITE IS DOWN" for months and never returning. The mod was believed to have been shut down and given a cease and desist (many assumed it had been "Foxed", a term representing 20th Century Fox's reputation for shutting down websites infringing on it's intellectual properties, of which the Die Hard movies are part of.)

Behind the scenes, two of the team's founders created Piranha Games, with the intent to take the work to Fox directly and appeal for commercial support. It worked. Fox appeared to be impressed enough by their dedication that they offered to fund the game as a stand-alone budget title on the Lithtech engine. The game was released on April, 1 2002, with a surprising and successful end for the ambitious little mod's journey.


The three difficulty levels in the game are named after the three Die Hard movies: "Die Hard", "Die Harder", "Die Hard with a Vengeance".


The game included an mail-in form for a free copy of the original movie on VHS. It's even the remastered Special Edition with a "making of" featurette and THX audio. This offer was only good in the US and for a limited time.

German version

While the US version does not feature the voice of Bruce Willis, the German version sort of does: John McClane is spoken by Manfred Lehmann, the voice actor of all Bruce Willis movies appearing in German language. All blood effects were removed in the German version.

Movie differences and inconsistencies

  • Compared to the movie, the language was toned town. For example, while McClane is on the roof trying to get help via the CB radio, he yells "No fucking shit, lady! Do I sound like I'm ordering a pizza?" - in the game, the f-bomb was removed.
  • The "ordering a pizza" line was censored but the F word did get used several times elsewhere in the game. Perhaps Motorola didn't want naughty language spoken over the (anachronistic) 2-way radio they payed to have plugged in(to) the game.
  • Powell's gun used in the end of the movie was a black revolver. In the game, it appears to be a silver Berretta (automatic pistol). LAPD's official handgun is the .45 cal M1911.
  • In the movie, the CB radio used seems to be a much older style, like those you find in Radio Shack, not the sleek Motorola CB in the game.
  • The chopper in the game seems to have a standard blue/white paintjob instead of the camouflage pattern in the movie, but it's at night and I could be mistaken.


While it was never stated in either the game, the game manual or the movie, the weapons are:
  • Handgun: Beretta 92 (or one of the variants), with 17 round magazine, though in reality Beretta's maximum magazine is only 15 rounds
  • Submachine gun: Heckler & Koch MP5
  • Sniper Rifle: Steyr AUG assault rifle
  • M-16: The actual gun is M-4, M-16's short-barrel cousin
  • Heavy machine gun: M-60 needs no further introduction
Information also contributed by BrunigStickMan, ClydeFrog and Kasey Chang

Related Web Sites

NeoMoose (1265) added Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza (Windows) on Apr 25, 2002