daikatana for all seasons (and other FPS oddities)

I don’t think ive ever actually seen one of the AI companions successfully kill an enemy until this patch and the manual doesn’t mention this. a lot of people think the Daikatana stops absorbing XP after it hits max level but I know for a fact it doesn’t - so IDK. How daikatana actually works is poorly documented, like there’s secrets people didnt find until like 2015, the only person who prolly knows for sure is John Romero. I’ll pay close attention when I get superfly

since every episode has its own weapon set i wanna show off all 4 sets of weapons first, but yes I’m planning on a DM night since the multiplayer still works and is really, really fun

yeah it’s easily as good feeling as a game like, idk, quake 3 or whatever. very smooth movement, you never get stuck on shit, and jumping feels great. yesterday I found out I could use the shotcycler to increase my airspeed by turning around and unloading. You can already levitate with it by trying to rocket jump (which I am going to show off when I get to the last secret of level 3 cuz it’s mandatory to shotcycler hover to get it), sometimes it like feels like they were trying to make a mobility shooter like 10 years early. romero seems to have made his peace with the SP part of this game, calling daikatana a “lesson in humility,” but he gets psyched as fuck whenever they release stuff like patch 1.3 or the multiplayer-only standalone fan release and mentions that hes been playing deathmatch again


everything ever in this game gibbing is great. even the pickups should gib when you touch them. doors should gib instead of open


solitary (part 2 of 2)

it makes a lot of sense that quake 2 focused on evil guys who use flesh as a component in their cyber meat machines. the engine is good at visceral rendering, everything is gross & the polygons themselves look like they are squirming and writhing away from the torture, pulsating uncomfortably

you have to do a running jump to get this secret but when theres no save gems it proves to be a waste of time to go all the way up the ladder over there because it just dumps you right before the acro powerup area with no reward. RIP

daikatana has build engine style doors aka they are lethal, in fact, pretty much everything that moves can hurt you. even some immobile objects, like the grating on this elevator light, hurt me because the top of my head bumped it when the elevator went up

another secret path gives you the sidewinder which is just a really good rocket launcher, very efficient weapon, no complaints. it fires 2 rockets at once for some reason cuz why not.

also this is around when i noticed that the ion blaster shots ricocheting is good, in the earlier levels they dont seem to bounce well but the techbase style of the mishima compound is really good for it. making bank shots to kill the security guards who tend to play hide and seek with you at a distance is something i find myself doing a lot. and sometimes ion blasts just make weird shit happen, like when I shot one of the red squares here and the shot bounced and made the floor explode and the laser grid turn off???

overall ive been finding the combat very satisfying, level 3 has none of those tanky robot guards. instead there’s very similar robot guards who shoot bullet projectiles instead of rockets who take a normal amount of damage…so who knows. maybe the SEWER SYSTEM just needed a more oppressive atmosphere than a level called SOLITARY. the hitscanners arent so bad, they’re no worse than the monks from blood which also come across as hilariously mean to me. sometimes not getting hit by the mishima guards is literally a matter of taking the right fork of the path so you can catch them off guard, which is typically cruel of daikatana. but its not an unfair game by any stretch, i feel the sheer power of your weapons compensates and after spending two whole levels getting beat down you start to be presented with opportunities for unpunished slaughter, which is uncharacteristically good natured of the designers

you got FUCKED easily!!!

heres a bit of an inscrutable secret, you need to jump into this very bottomless looking pit and land by these lights…

stumble around in the dark…


This is a great place to point out that for whatever reason the ladders in this level work fine. I have no idea why. maybe it’s because they’re all this open design where its only a set of rungs instead of that insanely wide awkward brushwork thing from the marsh? it is a mystery…

and then it’s time for that shotcycler jump I mentioned earlier

AND FINALLY we meet a living person who isnt screaming or shitting themselves in the evil torture room

enter superfly johnson. i like his classic doomguy style backstory, and he is indeed named after the ron o’neal superfly, which is fuckin awesome. so naturally there will be the best killers there are…WHITE killers. white ones, baby…but only in episode 4. in the original draft of this game he was supposed to be named “superfly williams” and searching for his identity throughout


hiro and him immediately hit it off so he has a few things to tell us

we are in kyoto but yes thank you superfly

he then tells us that shes in the high security defense wing, where hes got some business of his own…

fuck yeah…looks like business is about to pick up…




this is the FIRST FUCKING ROOM you fight with him in

if you tell him to stay he says im cool with that. adn then immedaitely yells HELLOOOOOO as you walk away

sometimes he laughs maniacally to himself for no fucking reason

i love superfly. why wouldn’t you? he’s your buddy!


level 4 takes place in the mishima crematorium, which is sort of reminiscent of a blood level in theme and about as hard. a slowed down funeral version of E1M1 from doom plays in the lobby

a nice little place minus the turrets. look at that sitting area! if you break the tabletop there’s a ladder (bad news, ladders dont work again in this level) leading to an ATTACK powerup which helps in the next section, because you open the door outside and

THE SWEET SOUND OF SWAMPS FILLS YOUR EARS. thats right baby, 20 fucking dragonflies immediately start pouring through that door before you can even walk through, ITS GREEN AGAIN, along with guards and robots and the usual shit. there are now RED ROBOTS in this level that fire rockets again and are back to being tough. a reminder that the pleasantries of the last level are not going to be common

whoever made this level really liked how the yellow lighting looked with the blue textures

theres also another one of those rays of light inside

we have to leave superfly behind for a sec to find the path forward through a vent up a COFFIN
loading elevator

and of course there’s barely visible turrets inside because fuck you lol. like you guys aren’t even going to be able to tell wtf the first screenshot is. its very oppressive crawling around inside the guts of the mishima buildings, there is no light and everything is a dull industrial texture

you do get a little treat at the end of it where you can blow up a bunch of idiots real easy

and the man sized vent needed to accommodate said idiots lets you get to watch these guys run around like chickens with their heads cut off for a while if you choose

and you might need the break, because even though this level is kinda breezy it’s as mean as they come. there isnt a whole lot of secrets that give you mega armor (which gives you 400 armor in this game) and not a single golden soul (which gives you 200 hp by default, it scales as you level vit, so with 1 vit i get like 400 health) and health is pretty scarce. a lot of armor though. you may find yourself turning the corner into this kind of shit, room after room

but opening the door for superfly lets us go back and get the SHOCKWAVE from a secret in the area we came from

in my ancient post about daikatana in the videogame things you think about a lot thread I described the shockwave as being “the bouncy ball gun that launches you into the air and usually kills you.” i will stand by that statement. please just watch this video.

lol superfly cries for 20 whole seconds when you die I LOVE HIM SO MUCH

so to recap our arsenal minus the daikatana is now

FIST - its really good for punching those fucking dragonflies and frogs
ULTIMATE GAS HANDS - takes like a million years to draw and you always waste 1-2 ammo trying to switch to your regular fists but it kills like everything in one hit
ION BLASTER - shoots green ricocheting bolts that bounce, hurts you if you shoot it in water, solid choice for general murdering
C4 VITZATERGO - italian? fires proximity mines that you can detonate mid-air for some reason and has an absurdly large blast radius. easily the best weapon you have and the most dangerous
SHOTCYCLER - fires 6 shotgun shells at once. can be used as a jumping device/airbrake. situational but not bad at all.
SIDEWINDER - its a rocket launcher that fires TWO rockets that spin around each other cuz it’s called the SIDEWINDER. the blast radius is not huge but it is powerful. it’s fine.
SHOCKWAVE - [more bounce to the ounce by zapp & roger plays at a high volume]

we get to take superfly into the vent this time!!! and naturally he bitches about it because it’s a post half-life world

you end up behind reception and inside this picturesque glass walkway full of (former) hitscanners overlooking POISON SWAMP which upon seeing superfly will yell SUCK IT DOWN!!! for the 100th time in the level, because he mostly alternates between laughing maniacally and yelling suck it down

This area connects to the crematorium proper. the way the level ends up wrapping around really makes this feel like the freaky front business for human slaughter superfly describes it as being.

superfly has some thoughts on the mishimas burial practices

l mean i figured it out but i gotta say, this is a pretty esoteric path up into that barely visible vent at the top right of the bookcase

superfly didnt like it either. i didnt take pictures of them because ugh it’s dark and tedious but these vents are LONG and full of enemy turrets.

we drop down in the burn area you saw behind the coffin earlier and there’s an employees only door that leads to PROCESSING…and thats another level down! felt surprisingly short compared to the first three. superfly didnt get stuck once, i was really impressed, and he isn’t an item hog. the patch 1.3 guys also made it so if you stand around they heal back to full health lol. superfly would go for items on his own, like he picked up his own shotcycler and kept switching between that and the ion blaster. i kept having to tell him it was OK to pick up more ion packs though. come on, superfly, we’re friends! i gotta admit for 2000 it is pretty impressive to have an AI companion that while dubiously useful in combat, is capable of scoring kills and can follow you up ladders and through vents and stuff. mikiko’s AI is much worse and her AI has less nodes placed for movement on every map, so she struggles far more than superfly. one of many reasons shes the recycle bin in the official daikatana windows theme



romero’s daikatana page circa late 2004 is gud


can you feel the JOHN STORM???

Japanese daikatana

I didnt play it until like 3 days ago and oh my god I can’t believe people say this version of the game is BETTER


i would be interested in it john I CARE :frowning:

for 2004 this is a really fair way of looking at his own game. daikatana is, for better or worse, “an expert FPS” because lets be real there isnt a single weapon in the game that doesnt have a learning curve and all the enemies are insane. i think hes right to single out the sidekicks as the thing that put people off the most, i agree, i really think for most people it comes down to the sidekick AI. i remember reading a post from romero WAAAY later about the left 4 dead 1 demo where he talks about how the survivor AI in that game is great because it does everything he wanted in daikatana without you having to tell them what to do. the tech just was not there yet in 2000

also even though it came out 3 years before i feel like in modern times it is appropriate to compare daikatana to quake 2 because they share an engine. on their own merits, quake 2 is SOOOOOO boring compared to daikatana. daikatana is green for one level. quake 2 is brown and orange for an entire game. quake 2’s not, like, bad. it’s totally competent, its smooth, its the blueprint for like every modern id software game in that way. but its SUCH a drag. you follow whatever objectives the game tells you and you navigate hub levels, which wasn’t even innovative because raven software and executive producer, uh, john romero, beat them to that with hexen. (which sucks but that’s not john’s fault) i mean fuck if you told me raven made quake 2 i would BELIEVE you because they specialize(d lol RIP in peace buddies) in like totally competent games that can be really dull in spots. like quake 4. god the strogg fucking suck WHY DID THEY MAKE SO MANY QUAKE GAMES ABOUT THEM. every level of daikatana is a new surprise, its MEAN but you wont forget it, like im sure this will make more sense in episode 2 where the levels are bigger and it’s BRIGHT and there’s a whole new set of cool enemies and textures and weapons to use. the game switches EVERYTHING when you finish an episode, its really creative. i always wanna see what comes next even though i’ve played before!


Quake 2 64 is better than Quake 2 PC tbh, I hope they include it in a remaster like they did with Quake 64

Also glad to find someone else who thinks Hexen sucks!! It’s like Doom mixed with a really shitty Myst clone!!


Heretic is cool but a complete slog on UV because the enemies take too much damage and your weapons suck slightly too much even with tomes of power. at least it’s fun even if raven loves putting in fake walls enemies can damage you through and bizarre secrets that are triggered mainly by walking over random linedefs

Hexen is like a fucking joke, the entire game is swinging ineffectively at enemies and seeing text at the top of your screen that says “One-ninth of the switch puzzle has been completed.” Strife is like if all of Hexen’s gameplay innovations were good instead of bad.

Hexen 2 and Heretic 2 were originally supposed to be a quake engine game romero was involved in called “Hecatomb” but apparently most of its ideas did not make it into either game, partially because heretic 2 ended up being a shitty 3rd person platformer, and partially because romero left id. his stink is still all over Hexen 2 though. it has like pretty Quake engine dark fantasy visuals and the puzzles are slightly more straightforward but it’s still a lot of switch hunting in equally weird places, oh and the enemies are MEAN and they hit hard and the hit detection for swords isnt good again, the game was rushed because the game gets increasingly linear and they reuse the first hub again for the last one. like nobody has played Hexen 2 anymore besides like me and a handful of deranged FPS nerds online because I would say that it also deserves the “expert fps” title next to daikatana due to being insanely fucking hard in almost every conceivable aspect from the combat to the esoteric puzzles, which is rapidly consigning it to the dust bin of history (where the first one actually belongs)

I am glad this is turning into the “veronica gives her opinion on the male canon of FPS games” thread


hexen 2


have you ever played avenging angel? i bought it from a clearance bin because in a preview the devs said the first thing you have to do after you fall to earth is find clothes and i was excited to run around nude but that DOES NOT HAPPEN i was very disappointed


i played it when it came out on gog and all i remember is the beginning is a lot like half life 2 and you get an angelic power that turns your enemies into a pillar of salt and an awesome animation plays where they blow away in the wind. i also remember it having way less biblical themes than i expected because you mostly run around a cyberpunk city that looks like blood 2


avenging angel is truly dogshit, one of the worst fps I’ve played, and I’ve played Witchaven


Does witchaven 2 still have the bug where every time you die the screen starts shaking and your character uncontrollably vomits til ypu load a save because that is one of my favorite FPS things ever


no, there’s no character vomiting?

witchaven 2 does have a mysterious demon face that pops up for half a second every couple minutes of gameplay, and I felt like I was losing my mind whenever it appeared.

I was streaming the game on discord and people kept glancing away right when the demon face appeared so I felt like I was haunted. Much cooler than anything that happens in avenging angel


seriously what the fuck was up with capstone games


Heretic 2’s development was completely unrelated to Hexen 2 btw, it was developed as a tomb raider inspired platformer from the start and it actually handles surprisingly well. Also, it benefits from a bunch of Brom concept art giving it a specific ugly hypermasc fantasy vibe. I would say it is better than Hexen 2 because it avoids the problem of horrible enemies that take a million hits to kill.

Just finished replaying Hexen 2 and the expansion Portals of Praevus myself. Hexen 2’s level design sucks after the first episode but I actually thought a lot of the expansion was decent, if you can look past the slightly orientalist fantasy-tibet set dressing. The hubs were much smaller and the puzzles were actually somewhat reasonable instead of nonsensical bullshit. Also, the new class they added, the Demoness, feels like they wanted to address the woeful tedium of fighting in Hexen 2 by making her stupidly overpowered.


oh I totally forgot the death sound sounded like the dude hurling


yeah, i shouldn’t have implied hecatomb became heretic 2, it was just a planned 3rd installment before raven ended up making heretic 2 and hexen 2 to conclude the story instead. you are correct about heretic 2

that was basically my experience playing hexen 2 as well but i didnt have the xpac. I got stuck on the fucking wheels of time puzzle in the egypt section for ages because the game doesn’t even give you the right information iirc