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Duke Nukem: Zero Hour; September Game of the Month
Topic Started: Sep 4 2015, 02:51 PM (1,063 Views)
Kerr Avon
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EnvyFox
Sep 5 2015, 12:05 PM
I've known for a while that there was another Duke Nukem game for the N64, but I'll admit that the only thing I know about it is that it supposedly plays like the original Tomb Raider.

Unfortunately, I own the original Tomb Raider and realized it aged like milk, so I've got some questions to ask. For starters, does Duke Nukem: Zero Hour play like Tomb Raider and, if so, is the game built around it better? Because, if not, I'd rather spend my money on something else.
No, you're thinking of the Playstation's Duke Nukem: Time to Kill.

See, for some reason, after Duke Nukem 3D was released on the Playstation and N64 (called Duke Nukem 64 on the N64, and Duke Nukem: Total Meltdown on the PSX), it was decided to release a new Duke Nukem game on the two consoles, with each game being made by a different company. I don't know who decided this, or what the given specifications of the games were, but it turned out that both games, when released, were third person shooters, both had time travel in them, and both of them have some levels set in America's wild west (among other times and places).

Other than that, and Duke related enemies, situations, and humour, they games have almost nothing in common. Time to Kill is quite like Tomb Raider, though TR does have much more jumping and precision-required climbing, since TR concentrates more on shooting.

But Zero Hour has very little in common with TR, being much more of a shooter and having few platforming parts, though they do exist.

Time to Kill is an OK game, but Zero Hour is very good indeed (my favourite ever Duke Nukem game), though it's not perfect. It's biggest flaws are that some levels are long and have no checkpoints, and that the enemy snipers take too much health from you if they get a shot in, so you can die from a couple of sniper shots whilst you're looking around for the enemies. Some parts of the game almost require you to remember where the enemies are, otherwise you'll have to at times almost crawl as you search for snipers before they can see you. Thankfully, snipers are rare in the game (though I wish they were non-existent!).

Two of the people who worked on Zero Hour used to post on Gamefaqs, and one of them said that Zero Hour was released before they wanted it to be, and the biggest changes they'd wanted to make before release were:

Add mid-level checkpoints,
Reduce the damage a sniper bullet does to you,
Add bots in multiplayer mode

but sadly it wasn't to be. The game is still great, with some really well designed levels and weapons, and I always play it in first person mode (you can do this via a cheat, look on the Gamefaqs page, or google for it) as I prefer it to third person mode.

Basically, if you want a great but sometimes pretty difficult third or first person shooter, then Duke Nukem: Zero Hour might be exactly what you want.

By the way, Duke Nukem 64 and Duke Nukem: Zero Hour were the only two Duke Nukem games on the N64. The Playstation (after Duke Nukem: Total Meltdown, and Duke Nukem: Time to Kill) did get another Duke Nukem game, Land of the Babes. but I've not played that. I have heard that it's not much good, but I don't know if it's more of a shooter, or a Tomb Raider style game.
Edited by Kerr Avon, Sep 7 2015, 09:39 AM.
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Kerr Avon
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Regarding Duke Nukem: Zero Hour's Up Ship Creek level, the video at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkNX2ibHNxc

shows how to kill 63 out of 64 of the enemies (and finishes with a 99% rating), so maybe the one in there that you haven't found will tell you where to look for the last one.

I seem to remember that one of the magazines of the time (N64 Magazine, maybe) did a walkthrough of the game, but I never read it, so I don't know if it was detailed enough to list the secrets and the location of all of the enemies. Does anyone have any idea what magazine(s) did a walkthrough?

Also, have you tried using an emulator, with infinite health, and infinite ammunition, so you can explore everywhere even in places where you'd be scared to explore normally (assuming you haven't been over every inch of the map)? Someone said "Getting all the enemies in USC is hard because theyre in void parts of the map and you have to run around throwing dynamite everywhere for hours." (http://forums.3drealms.com/vb/showthread.php?t=13876), so cheats might be able to help (if the quote is right about the enemies being in void parts of the map).

In the same thread someone says "Still missing two enemys? Huh. Try breaking furniture, all furniture in that level, if I remember correctly, there is a crack in the wall behind one set of furniture and i think there were enemys back there. If that don't work, make sure you listen for the floating sentry drones, sometimes they get stuck in rooms. AND if that don't work, repace the level, sometimes a trigger won't work right away and spawn enemys", but I'm sure you've already checked all of the walls.

If there are Moon Jump codes for the game (Moon Jump codes let you go up and fly around the level, so you can explore it in even more detail) or Noclip codes (which let you walk through walls) then it's possible that using these you might find the missing two enemies, or a switch to activate the two cryogenic enemies, etc.
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Kerr Avon
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Italia64, when you watch that video, please let us know which enemy you missed that the person who made the video found, as no doubt it's a very hard to find enemy, and it would be interesting to know which one it is. And if you do manage to prove that the level can be completed, then you'll be doing the N64 community a service, as it would be great to know once and for all that the level is not bugged.

It is a real pity that there's almost no information about the game on the 'net, especially since it is such a great game (one of my favourites), yet almost no one who never owned an N64 seems to have heard of it, and possibly most N64 owners have never played it, either.

I've never tried to 100% the levels myself, though I will try someday. Is 'Up Ship Creek' the only level that you haven't been able to achieve 100% on?
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Kerr Avon
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Right, I've played the NTSC version (via an emulator, and used the cheats), and done exactly what the bloke in that video did to get 63/64 kills, and I have managed to find (and kill) the enemy that that bloke didn't find. That's the good news.

The bad news is, no matter what I try, I can only find 62 enemies on my own. I've done EVERYTHING that he did, but whereas he gets 63/64 kills, I get 61/64. Or if I kill the missing enemy, then I get 62/64.

First, the missing enemy; do everything exactly how the bloke in the video does it, but when you kill the final cyborg (at 25:57), do not go into the teleporter. Instead, turn around, go back though the room with the two unconscious/dead cyborgs in the cabinets, and DON'T go through the teleporter, instead go through the door that leads into the ship's corridor. Go along the corridor towards the part with the stage, and the missing enemy (a flying drone) will attack you, it's hiding near the wall. If the bloke who did the video had done this, then he'd have gotten 64/64 kills.

But even though I've done everything he's done, and killed everything that he has, the game shows me as missing two kills (or three, if I don't kill that last flying drone). I have no idea what's causing that. Using the cheats, including the on-screen display of how many kills you have at that moment, I can confirm that if a flying drone hits you and deliberately explodes, then that IS counted as a kill for you, so whether you shoot and destroy a flying drone, or whether it hits you and explodes of it's own choice, either way you are credited with 'killing' it.

I've gone through the video, and written down every kill in that video. Here's the results:



1.Flying Drone1:22
2.Flying Drone1:51
3.Enemy Sniper2:52
4.Enemy3:15
5.Enemy3:17
6.Turret3:28
7.Turret3:40
8.Enemy3:48
9.Enemy3:58
10.Enemy4:01
11.Enemy4:13
12.Enemy4:16
13.Enemy Sniper4:29
14.Enemy Sniper4:48
15.Flying (low) Drone5:02
16.Ceiling Turret5:13
17.Flying (low) Drone5:18
18.Flying Drone5:32
19.Flying (low) Drone5:47
20.Enemy Sniper6:20
21.Enemy Sniper6:27
22.Enemy Sniper6:42
23.Flying Drone6:45
24.Enemy7:13
25.Flying Drone7:25
26.Turret7:52
27.Turret8:10
28.Flying Drone8:24
29.Flying (low) Drone9:46
30.Flying Drone10:27
31.Flying Drone10:52
32.Cyborg11:45
33.Cyborg12:48
34.Enemy13:24
35.Cyborg13:52
36.Flying Drone15:14
37.Flying Drone15:20
38.Flying Drone15:53
39.Flying (low) Drone15:42
40.Flying Drone15:44
41.Flying (low) Drone16:42
42.Enemy Sniper16:59
43.Ceiling Turret15:13
44.Flying Drone17:29
45.Cyborg19:03
46.Ceiling Turret (behind Cyborg)19:21
47.Cyborg19:39
48.Alien Egg19:56
49.Alien Egg19:56
50.Alien Egg19:56
51.Alien Egg20:06
52.Alien Egg20:12
53.Alien Egg20:20
54.Enemy Sniper21:00
55.Cyborg21:26
56.Cyborg21:44
57.Cyborg22:39
58.Flying Turret23:24
59.Flying Turret23:40
60.Cyborg24:31
61.Cyborg26:03


('Enemy' just means an enemy that's alive, usually a lizard thing).

So unless I've missed two kills, or he killed two with one shot a couple of times (which doesn't explain why I can't see the enemies in my playthroughs) then there's something very strange going on. Any ideas?

Edit: It's just occured to me that I've played the game on normal, and maybe he's played it on hard. That doesn't explain why he'd be credited for two kills that don't seem to take place (from looking at the video), but if it is a bug, then perhaps it only occurs on hard mode. I wish he'd said what skill level he was playing on, and if his version of the game was PAL or NTSC.
Edited by Kerr Avon, Oct 24 2015, 12:08 PM.
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Kerr Avon
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Zoinkity, on Shootersforever.com's forum, suggested that the two missing enemies might have been killed by explosions, even though they (the enemies) weren't visible at the time on the video. It's a great thought, as splash damage could have killed off two enemies over the course of the level, especially if the damage went through opaque (to our eyes) walls/ceiling/floors due to a bug, and killed off enemies who weren't visible at the time. Plus perhaps the two enemies are trapped in the wall or elsewhere where they not only can't be seen but they also cannot move or shoot, and so unless you get lucky with your explosives' splash damage, then you won't even know that the enemy are there.

Which means going through the video yet again (!), to see where explosions take place close to walls (or the ceiling) and trying to see if there are enemies on or in the walls or ceiling, by using explosives and detonating them agaist the walls or ceiling, and where possible, trying to get to the other side of the wall or ceiling. Of course, an explosion would also effect the area under the floor (assuming it is a bug) so the enemies could be below the floor or ground, maybe in a room that the player cannot access (say if the room was abandoned in the game's design stages, but not deleted), and if such a room does exist, it might have two enemies in it, who can still be killed but only by splash damage. And by chance Chris Rogers killed these two as a result of splash damage. That would explain everthing.

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