Duke Nukem 3D Walkthrough

Critical Mass
Episode 4, Level 9

[ Previous | Next | Main ]

Critical Mass starts off inside a garage, similar to the way XXX-Stacy ended.  When you open the garage, you will be attacked by a Pig Cop Tank, which you will have to dispose of before entering the building.

After the tank is gone, head over to the right hand door, and you will see an operational switch (there's another here that is broken).  Use the switch, and the garage door will open, revealing a large room with plenty of..  wait for it... CRATES!

Once you have gotten rid of the couple of Enforcers in this room, you can hop around on top of the crates for several items that will be useful (health, ammo, etc).  When you've finished, make your way up the spiral stairs in the middle of the room.

Special Xbox 360 Cooperative Note:

When we were developing the Xbox LIVE Arcade version of Duke 3D, one of the things we looked at in detail was co-operative play.  More specifically, whether or not the original level construction would leave you stuck with no way out.  We spent a lot of time looking for this, and found only one place where this was possible.  It was in Critical Mass with the spiral stairs shown here.  During the normal single player path, going up the spiral staircase would cause them (and the room at the top) to collapse, leaving you with no way to get back.  This is a non issue in single player, but in Co-Op play, we discovered a problem.

In Co-Op, if you got past the collapsing stairs, and then died, you would get taken back to the start of the level.  The problem with that is that now the stairs are already collapsed, and you were stuck - there was no way to get past the stairs in Co-Op.

We examined the map data, and discovered that in Dukematch play, this map had special map data so that when the stairs were down, there was a way around.  In Dukematch, there is a switch on the wall that was not there in single player or Co-Op originally which would open up a teleport and let you bypass the collapsed stairs.  The decision was made to alter the original map data for this instance.   We changed the map so that when you played Co-Op, this teleport was also available to you.  It is NOT available in single player, and this is the only instance in the entire game when we went back and changed existing map structure for the Xbox LIVE Arcade version.  Otherwise you'd get stuck.

Getting back to the walkthrough..   Go up the spiral stairs.  This will put you in a room that as you start moving around, will collapse. 

You will need to move quickly to the far end of the room where there is a small area you can wait out the collapse.

Once the room has fully collapsed, two doors will open up on either side of you releasing a Protector Drone from the right side one.   After you deal with him, make your way to the left room where you will see a small vent on the floor.  Kick it out, and jump in.

When you go into the grate, you will fall into a trash compactor with water in it.   This is reminiscent of a similar scene from the original Star Wars movie.   You have to go under the water, and find a switch marked "Pressure Maintenance", flip it, and this will allow you to use an exit door.  Of course, you have to do all this before you get squashed (which did happen to me in trying to take this screenshot):

After you get out of the compactor room, you are in a small hallway.  Turn around, and there is a metal door to open with a seemingly boring hallway.  Go through the hallway, and when you get to the other side, the two walls will open up, revealing several enemies you have to take out.  Do so.

The next room after this one has more or less the same trap.  Go in the room, and the walls will raise, revealing more protector drones.  This room however will cause you damage if you don't have boots on due to the floor (and the lightning).  These doors do not stay open, they will close again, but there is a switch in here you can use to open them up if you need to go in and get the items (like boots).

Take the elevator up on the other side of this room, and it will leave you in a room of boxes, with a few Pig Cops.  Take out the pig cops, and collect the various items in the room.  Once you have done that, there is a switch next to a closed door.  throw the switch and make your way through the door.

Once you are through the door, you will see a section with several barrels and several Enforcers.   If you see the screenshot below, then it is probably too late, they will be on you.  However, if you make your way through the door, and throw a pipebomb around the corner, it can help take out a few before they're all on you at once.

After the Enforcers are gone, go into the silver door just to the left of where they are, and you will see several Pig Cops.  A single pipebomb in the middle of them will take them all out.

After the Pig Cops are gone, stay in the room where they were, as there is a key to get.  There is a switch puzzle on the wall, which, when completed will reveal the blue key.  The proper combination on the puzzle is to hit the first, third, and fourth switches, leaving the second one alone.  This will unlock the small door next to the puzzle, where the key is.

Take the blue key, and head to the large doors that are locked with the blue key.  This area is extremely dark, and if you have night vision goggles, it would probably a good idea to turn them on right before you open the doors.   There are Octabrains and slimer eggs aplenty in here.   Take them out, as there's a few things to do in here, and it is a lot easier without facehuggers bothering you all the time.

Once you are done clearing out the room, submerge in the water, and look around for a switch puzzle.  It's not really much of a puzzle, more like three switches.  Flip all three, and the pillars in the water here with you will rise, revealing an Atomic health, and a yellow key.  It will also keep the level shaking for the rest of the time you spend in it - the reason for that will be evidenced at the end.

Once you grab the key, surface, and make your way back out of the generator room, taking a right down to the yellow key door.   Use the key and unlock the door, revealing more enemies to fight.

A special note again about Co-Op.  Due to the nature of the way this level ends, an additional exit is stuck at the end of this hallway in Co-Op (in PC & 360 modes).  The Co-Op note above is only for the 360 version, but this one will let you end the level here due to the unique way this level ends.   This door is immediately to the right of the locked red key door (which you don't actually need to do in Co-Op if you don't want to).

Once you've gotten rid of the latest batch of resistance, make your way down to the end of the hallway, where a large wooden door is.  Open it, and it will reveal an office, with the red key on top of a bookshelf.  Go in there and grab it.

You don't have to go far to use the red key, the door for it is right next to the office here.  Open up this room and head in, taking out anyone that might be inside.

Once you come into this room, the other door will try to open, but will only open a little bit.  When you go outside, you will find out the reason for the shaking - the entire building will collapse behind you!

Once the building is totally down, you can explore the rubble for some health, but you cannot get back into the building (hence the Co-Op note a few steps above).  Also, if you look off into the distance from here, you can see what appears to be a boat - this is actually the boat from the next level in the game.  Once you are done looking around up here, hop up the rubble to the end level switch.

Hitting the exit and be taken to Level 10, "Derelict".



Critical Mass Secrets

Critical Mass has four secrets.  These are the areas that are recognized as secrets by the game.  There are a few other areas that are not recognized by the game as secrets.  This secrets area will only show the "true" secrets in the level.

Secret #1: One of your Boobs from Sector 7G

At the top of the spiral stairwell, you would normally run to the safe spot to wait out the room collapse.  Don't do that.  Run to the top of the stairwell, and wait.  The explosions will start, and you will likely take a little damage doing this, but if you wait long enough, a secret door will open (before you get squashed). 

Once it does open, run in there revealing the secret.  This is a reference to "The Simpsons".  Homer Simpson is well known for eating donuts at work, and "Sector 7G" is the name of the part of the plant he works in.  You get out of here using the teleport on the side of the room.  This will leave you in the "safe area" past the collapsed room - the same place you would have been in had you not come to this secret area.

Secret 2: Computerized Health

When you come out of the trash compactor, the small hallway you are in contains a secret.  Go to the computer at the end of the hallway, and use it.  A wall panel will open up to your right containing a medkit.  Go in there and collect the medkit and the second secret.

Secret #3: Darkened RPG

When you get into the generator room behind the locked blue key door, the first secret is off to your left.  This is one of those "blow up the secret wall with a rocket" secrets you've run into so many times already.  Even with the night vision goggles on it is hard to see.  Look at the shot below, the fire in the distance is where the secret area is.  It is to the left of where you came in from the blue door.

Once you are over there, head into the room to grab an RPG and the third secret in this level.

Secret #4: Fly Away, Stanley!

When you get into the generator room, you need the jetpack to get this secret.  Way up the top of the generator room is a small ledge with a shrinker and some Devastator ammo.  Jetpack up here to get it, and the final secret of this level.

[ Previous | Next | Main ]