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Thursday, 6 September 2018

DIE HARD: NAKATOMI PLAZA


I've covered a fair number of Die Hard games so far, but if there's one game that doesn't seem to get the love that it deserves, it's Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza. Published in 2002 by Sierra Entertainment, it was the first and only game to actually attempt to re-create the plot of the original film in video game form.

At the same time, another game featuring John McClane came out on consoles. Die Hard: Vendetta is probably better remembered a lot more for taking over the advertising and shelf space to the point that for the longest time I thought the two were roughly the same game. Both are first-person shooters that each got middling reviews but it's Nakatomi Plaza that tops it by simply being true to the film that inspired it.

There are several parody posters scattered around the building.

From the very moment your bare feet scrunch the plush carpet in the restroom of your estranged wife's office, the game works hard to retell the story in-game as much as possible. This is both the game's greatest achievement and its biggest flaw. For those who've seen the film, it's a joy to participate in amped up versions of various scenes, complete with added enemies to bump up the FPS action quota. On the other hand, it limits the game's variety quite a bit. Most of the game takes place in grey corridors, often recognisable from the film, but boringly grey none-the-less.

On the plus side, the game reuses sound effects and background music from the film, again adding to the authenticity. With the exception of Reginald Vel Johnson reprising his role as the bumbling cop Sgt. Al Powell, most of the new voice cast do a fairly decent job imitating their more famous counterparts. There are a few dips in quality here and there but most of the time it's pretty admirable.

Health can be restored by collecting the contents of the first aid boxes.

As you play, there are three meters you have to pay attention to - health, stamina, and morale. Health is self-explanatory (and if it's not, play more games). Stamina acts in a similar way to the original NES game's Foot bar. It displays how long you can run which will decrease quicker when travelling over broken glass. Morale is all about your confidence. As you kill more terrorists, your bravado will increase and the meter will rise to grant you more shooting accuracy, as well as affecting enemy AI. When you take damage, it will go down thus making you a worse shot. Playing on easy, I didn't see much of a difference no matter what level my resolve was at. I can imagine it has more of an effect on the harder difficulties and therefore adds a fair bit of strategy to your game, but I didn't see enough to experience it.

The game's not entirely a guns-blazing bullet-fest anyway, with many scenarios offering multiple ways to proceed. Other times, the choice is artificially limited to guide you in a specific direction. For example, in your first enemy encounter when leaving the bathroom, the terrorists have their back to you and completely oblivious to the gun-toting, bare-footed off-duty cop behind them. Don't try and attempt a sneaky kill, as they're not as easily felled as they might seem. Instead, zip around the corner and go straight to the fire escape. I didn't know to do this at first and constantly got my arse handed to me no matter what difficulty I chose. It was only when I cheated (don't judge) that I realised that they're programmed to be unkillable to force you to follow the events of the movie.

Some light puzzling will involve defusing bombs and re-starting electricity. 
You'll sometimes need specific items to do this, but often a gun will do.

There are a fair number of moments like this, where you'll need to have knowledge of the film to progress. Later on, after a gunfight with the terrorist named Tony (Karl's brother), the game doesn't automatically load the next level or point you in the direction of where to go next. None of the doors or elevators work which is where you'd expect the level to end and you're left wandering the construction-filled floor wondering what you need to do. If you've seen the film, you'll know that John tries on Tony's shoes as he takes his walkie-talkie and machine gun (ho, ho, ho). So that's what you have to do. Go up to Tony's corpse which hasn't disappeared like the regular goons and hit the action key when looking at his feet. Not signposting these moments for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the movie is the game's biggest flaw and it all depends on the player how big of a deal-breaker it is.

For me, the joy lay in playing the movie. Those plot points I couldn't quite remember came back to me once I figured out the moments that stumped me. Taken as a whole, Nakatomi Plaza should also be given credit by also being a highly entertaining game in its own right. There are enough moments of well-executed action interspersed with exploration and minor puzzle moments that make this almost as memorable as one of cinema's greatest actioners. Well worth a play for fans and gamers alike.


To download the game, follow the link below. This is a custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses  DxWind to run on modern systems. nGlide 3D Wrapper (included) must be installed. Tested on Windows 10.

File Size: 311 Mb.  Install Size: 842 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ

Download


Die Hard (the movie) is © Twentieth Century Fox
Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza is © Fox Interactive
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me


Like this? Try These...

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/2018/07/die-hard-trilogy.html  http://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/2018/06/trespasser-lost-world-jurassic-park.html  https://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/hardline.html

24 comments:

  1. Due to my now pretty old-fashioned PC setup that is still running Windows 7 in its 32-bit form, I was able to die hard in Nakatomi Plaza, so to say, without having to make any technical tweaks for getting the original game to run from scratch. Nonetheless, once more it is great to experience another fine installer done by you, which can be thoroughly enjoyed by a wide audience of gamers. As an aficionado of the first three Die Hard flicks, I do share your sophisticated adulation of the movie's FPS adaption that holds up decently well, whilst being watched through glasses which don't need to be nostalgically fogged-up that much at all.

    Bye for now,
    Thomas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Thomas.

      Die Hard games have a surprising high quality for licensed games, and Nakatomi Plaza is definitely my faveourite of the lot. I'm kicking myself that I've not played it before.

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  2. Lol this must be the only FPS Sierra ever made. Btw according to mobygames, there were 2 patches released, 1.02.3 and 1.04.1. Are they included or must be added manually?
    Great job once again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's version 1.00. I don't tend to look for patches unless I come across a game breaking bug. Sometime DxWnd does the same thing as the patch anyway (eg. video card compatibility & higher resolution support)

      A quick search tells me 1.02 just adds Radeon support and 1.04 fixes footsteps. None of these were a an isuue for me. If you desire, you can add them manually, but I don't know if they'll effect the DxWnd settings

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. AWESOME! I KNEW if anyone could upload this it would be you!

    Hey if I can make two suggestions, both of which are emulators of Console games to PC but deserve to be on PC. Condemned 2: Bloodshot and Minority Report: Everybody Runs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!

      I think Minority Report is more likely than Condemned 2 as 6th generation emulation is in a better place than the 7th.

      RPCS3, the PS3 emulator is making decent progress with games like Catherine and Dark Souls 2 playable (no mention of Condemned 2 though), but there's still a huge number of glitches and it takes a massive amount of resources to run smoothly for the bigger games. I don't think it's quite so viable.

      Plus I heard on the rumour mill that SEGA were shopping around for someone to port it and NightDive were interested. Don't know how far they got.

      Delete
  5. Ah well thought I'd ask...wait what about Emulating the XBox 360 version? (I don't do CD based emulation so if it's just as difficult I understand)

    Anyway, I hope to see Minority Report whenever/if-ever you do it :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. XB360 emulation is weirdly non-existant. The OG Xbox emu scene has only just got to a point where a few games are playable. It's a shame 'cos there's some great stuff on there.

      Delete
  6. Thank you for this!
    Been meaning to play it for years, so it's now on my streaming list lol.
    Your custom installer worked like a charm on my Win7 setup.
    I wasn't sure which version of the game this was (didn't look at the comments 0_o) so I went ahead and added the 1.04 patch, which didn't conflict with DxWnd.
    I also added the widescreen fix from here https://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Die_Hard:_Nakatomi_Plaza with no ill effects either.
    I'll be sure to shout out your page when I do stream this.
    All the best =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip! I might use that if and when I do a revision.

      Delete
  7. Hi there. Thanks for the site! However, with this game, I'm having issues. It installs without problems, but when running it, it crashes. Then I use windows 98 compability mode, and I manage to get into the game, but now, the cutscenes skips every 1 seconde or so, and when the game starts, I can't really do much, as when i try to look around with the mouse, it's as if there was an invisible wall which won't let me move around... any tips to fix this? Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't run in compatibility mode. It will conflict with the options within DXWnd. Make sure you run the game via the shortcut or Run.bat as the DXWnd hooks won't be implemented (these are required to correct the speed and mouse input). Try running as admin and/or re-install outside of Program Files. There's more info in FAQ as well as specialised info in the ChamberNotes.txt.

      Delete
    2. Previously, I tried running it from the desktop shortcut the instalation created. Once I tried from the dxwnd, it worked!! Thank you very much!! :D

      Delete
  8. Hi! Is there a way to use the god-mode ? autoexec.cfg Change "PlayerTakeDamage" "1" to "PlayerTakeDamage" "0" doesn't work. Any Others File to edit dir this?

    ReplyDelete
  9. When I try to run the game I get an error that says "Nakatomi Error: Couldn't set D3D Emulation mode", anybody know a way around this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have to look into this when I have the time. On the top of my head, try running as admin or installing outside of program files. The dxwnd options may not be catching because of it.

      Delete
  10. i am in level 11 when you need to help the swat and avoid killing them, specially when i try to go under the water i suddenly have a black screen but i can hear the game , i think there is a problem with graphics when ia go under the water

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having same issue as you. Ever get it fixed?

      Delete
  11. The sewers level "not my day". When I go into the water its completely dark. Is there a way to fix this?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ok so I figured out a workaround to get through the water. It isn't pretty but it works. Make sure you save right before entering the water before doing this.
    Open DXWnd. Go under edit>modify>Direct3D. Under the 3D effects turn on disable textures and 3D wire frame. The hit Try button on the bottom left. The game will turn into pretty much an old virtual boy game. But you'll be able to navigate through the water by following the outlines of the map. Once u reach the top there are enemies shooting u. U can either try and kill em the way the screen is or save once your on the top of the tunnel. Exit and uncheck the 2 previous boxes to run back to normal. It ain't pretty but it gets the job done.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi,

    Thank you for making all of these installers.

    Is the latest patch 1.04.1 included, or do i have to install it separately?

    Otherwise the game works great on Windows 10!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been a while since I worked on it but the answer is kinda yes, kinda no. The patched files are in there, but some have been replaced with other custom files. Either that or I'm mis-remembering and thinking about a different game.

      I tend to check patches for DxWnd and natively run games, especially if they are proving difficult to run which this one was. Using a program like DxWnd or dgVoodoo, some patches may break the game. Others are superflous as they only alter resolution and aspect ration which those programs do a better job of it anyway.

      Bottom line: it works as best as I can make it.

      Delete
    2. Hi,

      Thank you for replying. I understand.

      I finished the game today.

      Turns out it was no problem, i re-applied the 1.04.1 patch. And two mods for better experience:

      Small Addon

      https://www.moddb.com/games/die-hard-nakatomi-plaza/addons/small-addon1

      and

      DIE HARD: Improved Edition v2.0.0beta

      https://www.moddb.com/mods/die-hard-improved-edition/downloads/die-hard-improved-edition-v100beta

      With these two mods the game is OK overall.

      BTW, the game worked perfectly when i didn't run it in DxWind, running it instead from Naka.exe and capping the fps to 60. I didn't have to use any compatibility mode.

      Because in DxWind, the game was choppy (also in the cut scenes) even trough i capped my fps to 60 and in DxWind it showed up as 33 fps.

      But no matter it was fine otherwise.

      You are doing God's work with those Installers, so thank you!

      Delete