Hacx

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Hacx cover

Hacx (pronounced "hacks" and commonly written as HacX) is a total conversion for Doom II. It was released by Banjo Software on September 16, 1997, and featured an entirely new set of graphics. Hacx uses a DeHackEd modified version of the Doom engine and the authors of Hacx paid id Software $5,000 for the rights to market Hacx as a commercial add-on for Doom II.

Hacx itself was generally unsuccessful; by the time it was released, the superior Quake engine that had just come out made the Doom engine pale in comparison. Public interest for Doom and games derived from it was, effectively, dead; even though Hacx was considered a decent TC, it arrived on the market too late to become a success.

Hacx was originally priced at $14.95 on a CD-ROM, and $20.95 on diskettes. The sprites and other graphics from Hacx have been reused in many other TCs/PCs since, despite Banjo Software having forbidden the use of Hacx's resources in other WADs.

Development started on a sequel using the Quake, Quake II, and later Unreal engines, but it failed due to a number of problems.

Hacx is now being distributed for free on its website kept online by Rich Johnston (Nostromo), one of the developers. The Hacx CD and original disks are considered to be extremely rare, and have become a collector's item.

Story[edit]

Spoiler Warning: Plot details follow.

Skilled hacker Danny Evanger is apprehended after attempting to hack into GENIE, an artificially intelligent and biotech-based system created by the Genemp Corporation. However, after a global wave of communication blackouts, computer network shutdowns at governmental and military installations, international stock market crashes, military coups, and even armies of cannibal zombies roaming the streets, Danny is released from prison by a man in black and given a Genemp Microtel enhancement chip implant, a device that lets him jump into cyberspace from special terminals. Every agent the government has sent to investigate the situation, which they suspect is related to a consortium of powerful, international hi-tech conglomerates, has failed to return, so they want Danny to use his skills as a hacker to get to the bottom of the situation. In return, Danny will receive $20 million in gold, lunch with the President, and gets to keep the Microtel permanently. Hearing this offer, he suddenly feels patriotic. The only catch is that he has to stay alive.

Spoilers end here.

Notable figures[edit]

Facing off with mutants in MAP06: Digi-Ota.

Despite the game's commercial failure, some of its creators have since become successful and relatively well-known professional game developers. Iikka Keränen (Fingers) went on to work at Looking Glass Studios, Ion Storm, Ritual Entertainment, Rogue Entertainment, and most recently, Valve Software. Kenneth Scott has since worked as an artist at Ion Storm and id Software. Later, he was employed as the art director at Microsoft Studios for Halo 4 (2012). Zach Quarles went on to work at Raven Software and id Software. Kevin Johnstone is currently employed at Epic Games.

Versions[edit]

Hacx 1.1[edit]

Hacx 1.1 was the first free release of Hacx. The release was not an update from 1.0, but rather a downgrade to some version in the development history. A few differences include MAP15 and MAP14 being swapped. As a result, the proper secret exit was removed and the game always goes to MAP31. MAP10 also had a terminal entrance similar to MAP05, but was removed. Likewise, the exit room for MAP19 was removed.

Hacx 1.2[edit]

As a platform upon which to build Hacx 2.0, a 1.2 update of the original Hacx was released on October 9, 2010. The changes included making it as a stand-alone IWAD recognized by Chocolate Doom, Crispy Doom, Doomsday, EDGE, Eternity, GZDoom and ZDoom, but still compatible with other source ports (and even vanilla Doom if the DeHackEd lump is extracted and used for patching). This wiki's map articles are based on version 1.2.

A 1.3 update was planned to fix a few bugs.

Standalone DOS version[edit]

On October 21, 2021 UDoom32 author OpenRift released a standalone version[1] of Hacx 1.2 for DOS. It utilizes a custom executable called DHACX.EXE which unlike the official executable, embeds the DeHackEd patch, but it is also a executable hack where it includes HacX's custom quit messages found in the LANGUAGE lump.

The standalone version also includes:

  • HACX.EXE: The original HacX launcher that can launch singleplayer and multiplayer modes. Uses HACX.BIN and HACX.DAT
  • DHSERSET.EXE: A hex-edited version of SERSETUP.EXE, designed to launch the aforementioned DHACX.EXE
  • DHIPXSET.EXE: Like DHSERSET.EXE, but for the IPX protocol. This wasn't included on the official release and is thus custom made
  • HM.EXE: A version of DeathManager! version 1.5, edited to read and write from HM.DAT and HM.CFG respectively, compatible with the HACX.EXE launcher
  • SETUP.EXE: A hex-edited version of Chex Quest's setup program with names changed
  • DeHackEd: Comes with a custom INI file to specify the new executable and WAD names
  • NOVERT.COM: A tool that disables vertical mouse movement. The batch menu used by DOSBox is configured to run this automatically
  • DOSBox Staging v0.77.1: This is included for convenient play with a batch menu with shortcuts, akin to GOG's DOS game installations

Hacx 2.0[edit]

In November 2008, Nostromo declared on the Hacx homepage that a new version of Hacx is being made. The comment stated:

Believe or not, after nearly 10 years since Hacx has been released, a version 2.0 is currently in production! As many of you may have noticed, the original game was released as, shall we say, a not quite complete product. This was due to the fact that we had to rush it to the market before the Quake engine came out ...not that it made any difference, unfortunately.

Recently, I was contacted by an individual that goes by the online name of Xaser who was real excited about making a complete version for the ZDoom engine. He provided an updated script for all the maps and, based on his awesome enthusiasm and remarkable reworking of the script, I gave him the go ahead to build away. He is currently working on some maps and building a team.

Since 2012, a completely playable early version of Hacx 2.0, which includes new levels and some major design improvements and rebalance from the original game, is available for download on Github and WadArchive.

iPhone/iPad[edit]

Hacx has been ported to these platforms, based on the Doom Classic code, by the same company that also did one of the commercial Freedoom ports. Contrary to "Doomsday: Hellraiser", however, "Hacx Classic" is available for free, as the license for the Hacx content does not allow commercial distribution.

Weapons[edit]

Monsters[edit]

Items[edit]

Hazards[edit]

Levels[edit]

Hacx disc and jewel case inset

First "episode":

Second "episode":

Third "episode":

Final "episode":

Built-in demos[edit]

Version 1.2 features three built-in demos. The demo levels are:

Demo Level Skill Tics Length
DEMO1 MAP15: Twilight of Enk's 4 3557 1:41.63
DEMO2 MAP12: Gothik Gauntlet 4 4070 1:56.29
DEMO3 MAP19: The War Rooms 4; 2-player coop 3248 1:32.80

Cheat codes[edit]

The cheat codes for Hacx are different from the ones in the original Doom. [1]

  • wuss - toggles God mode
  • blast - keys, all weapons, full armor and ammo
  • zap - taser
  • seeit - power-up menu
  • superman - toggle temporary invincibility
  • whacko - berserk
  • ghost - toggle temporary partial invisibility
  • boots - toggles boots
  • bright - toggles light amplifiers
  • walk - toggles clipping
  • warpme## - jump to level ##
  • where - gives full automap
  • wheream - shows coordinates
  • show - toggle map detail
  • tunes## - change music to level ##

Trivia[edit]

  • Hacx's modified executable is called DHACX.EXE. It consists of a DOOM2.EXE version 1.9 based executable merged with HACX.DEH.
  • Both the installation and files only versions of Hacx 1.1 contain a DHACX.EXE that is unable to play back demos from each other. Only the installation version can play back demos made with that specific executable, but not those of the files only version. The files only version cannot play back demos unless the executable from the installation version is used. A separate DeHackEd patch called HACX_F.DEH exists, made by Graham Burgess (Grazza), enabling playback with the files only version of Hacx.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Doomworld forums thread