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Any love for NAM/WWII GI?

User is offline   Toxic34 


As many of us know, the last commercially released Build engine titles were NAM and WWII GI, released in October '98 and '99 respectively. These games received a very cold reception and have been mostly forgotten. But is there anything good in these games, and are there people who realize it?

It is clear that these two titles are just clear Duke total conversions with slight modifications to the weapons. You have virtually the same mechanics as Duke, complete with same visual style, same grunting and underwater sounds, and so on. However, it was decided to use the Build engine for the purpose of slow crawls through the levels, crouching and sniping at enemies from unseen locations, rather than charging headlong into the fray and spraying bullets at will, like you'd expect to. For many used to the run and gun style of the other Build engine titles, this is thoroughly disorientating. It also means that the games are far more difficult than expected, even on the easiest difficulty. In my experience, WWII GI is the harder title, particularly in certain levels like the D-Day landing, the seaport level where a King Tiger tank is included, and so on. While the enemies are harder to find and dispatch with in NAM, their damage in WWII GI seems to have increased, making it easier to be gunned down and leading to further reliance on stopping and saving.

These games tried to make a name for themselves by advertising as being "the first realistic 3D shooting experience of the war" using "true-to-war strategies." Of course, when your characters have the ability to absorb quite a number of hits, and can be healed by medics and medkits, this clearly shows this statement to be a lie. NAM in particular is quite ludicrous in its conceit of your playable character being genetically engineered to absorb pain and be revived by an experimental serum. Clearly, if such a thing had happened, the US wouldn't have lost the war. The games also do not provide any kind of sense that the wars are being brought to life, or giving any kind of snapshot into this moment in history. Call of Duty, Battlefield and Medal of Honor certainly excel in this sense, even with the regenerating health. In addition, the Build engine had simply become obsolete by this point. Redneck Rampage Rides Again was arguably the true end of the Build engine, as it certainly feels like the passing from one era into another. By the time of these games' release, many fans had moved on to the likes of Quake III Arena, Half-Life and Deus Ex as representative of FPS gaming at that point.

That said, I still find myself playing these titles and working to finish the campaigns time after time. Why? Because it certainly is intriguing to see arguably the first war-based FPS titles that aren't Wolfenstein 3D, and seeing what the developers had hoped to accomplish. While the grainy 2.5D environments aren't stellar and don't stand out, especially not in comparison to the earlier Build engine titles, they are hardly the product of lazy artists. It is clear to see that great care was taken with rendering these levels and they wanted gamers to rise to their challenge.

User is offline   Taamalus 


It's been a long time I played Nam.
The catch with the advertisement, 'intense action and real ambiance of the Vietnam war' is that an FPS will have a hard time to accomplish that. No matter what, you really sit on a couch playing a game.
Nam was intense game though, and I liked it.

User is offline   Commando Nukem 

  • Judge Mental


I played a lot out of WW2 GI as a kid. It stirred my imagination. That is, until I moved on to Medal of Honor on Playstation.

NAM is an exercise in frustration. Probably fairly true to the spirit of the war, you get ambushed and blowed the fuck up and sniped from enemies you almost never see until it's too late. Weapons kill quick and hard, and the whole thing is very unforgiving, forcing you to play at a snails pace. They haven't aged well.

I've always wanted to see someone redo NAM in the spirit of the Shadow Warrior reboot. The little bit of "story" NAM had talked about some kind of a super soldier experiment. It would be pretty cool to run with that, instead of trying to make it some kind of a tactical experience in build. Especially when they only went halfway with it.


I've actually played and finished recently NAM and WW2GI, both in EDuke32. I didn't like them that much due to the high difficulty (I played on third difficulty, mind you) but I didn't find them as hard as everyone says so. Sure, there were some levels where I died a lot of times but there were also few levels (like 2-3 per each game) where I didn't die at all, as I carefully killed the enemies, conserved health and ammo, and so on. There are some levels that have a lot of health and ammo supplies, while in others you may be lucky to find a few ammo clips and a single medkit.

As for damage done by enemies, actually in NAM you take a bit more damage compared to WW2GI, for example in NAM you take 23 damage per bullet if you have no armor (a bit less if you have armor) but in WW2GI you take 17 damage per bullet, no matter how much morale you have. I know morale influences the accuracy and the amount of health received per medkit. Speaking of which, WW2GI has a different healing system in that you can have up to 2 medkits in inventory and to use them, you must stand still. During that time, don't move or hope you don't get shot because the healing process stops and the medkit is wasted. I recommend finding a safe place and use the medkits if your health is around 65 or lower, since you get up to 35 health per medkit. If you are low on health and have low morale, you may get less health points per medkit, like only 25 or so until healing process stops. Using a medkit also boosts your morale, as does killing an enemy and smoking a cigar (although in this case, you will lose 3 health).

That said, the games are really hard and I can understand people getting frustrated by these games, since I did have some parts that pissed me off as well, like the one level in NAM (I think it's halfway through first episode) where you get ambushed right at start of the level and have no cover until you kill some of the enemies and rush behind a tree or something. Because I had 42 or so health from the previous level, I had a hard time surviving the part from the beginning, so I died around 10 times until I managed to kill them all before they would hit me, then hide behind a tree, kill the ones that were hiding and then collect the health that was placed right behind the crashed helicopter.

I also found annoying the placement of some enemies, landmines and booby-traps as well as the occasional airstrikes but more than half of the time I could tell when an airstrike was incoming, maybe I was just lucky but usually when an airstrike happened, I just backtracked a bit and waited for the explosions to finish. Another annoying thing is you are bleeding if the health reaches 25 or lower, however I don't think I've died before from bleeding except maybe once or twice but it does cost some health points and each HP matters. Oh and yet another thing that I really hated was (mostly in NAM) in some of the levels, the enemies respawn. Right in the first level of NAM, I have seen some enemies suddenly spawning from certain places after each few minutes (which costed me a death since they killed me from behind just as I previously made sure no one is behind), so it's impossible to kill everyone in some levels.

Overall, I think both games aged badly as Commando Nukem said and I think they would have been much better received if they were released for free and were just total conversions for Duke Nukem 3D, like Platoon TC was. They just didn't make sense to be commercial games since they feel like they are pretty much just TCs for Duke3D and nothing more. Sure, they used some enhancements from original EDuke but that was pretty much it.

This post has been edited by RunningDuke: 11 August 2017 - 01:45 AM


User is offline   Toxic34 


Probably the hardest level of all for me is the 4th one in WWII GI, entitled Hunt for the 88s. The beginning is insanely difficult to get through a field and take down the snipers, even if you have full health. Then there's the fact that you have two tanks to take out as well. It's quite ludicrously difficult.

Maybe it would've been nice to see the super soldier experiment in NAM as well, especially since it wasn't fully consummated to their competing desire for realism.

User is offline   Toxic34 


Also, I find somewhat hilarious that they attempted to give one-liners for Alan "The Bear" Westmoreland in NAM. He rarely uses them, and when they come out, they're incredibly stupid. There are cliched ones like "war is hell" and "shit happens." Often, when killed, he might say "I'm about as useful as a football bat," which is completely idiotic. Then, to show how much of a total conversion it is, he'll sometimes say "Damn, I'm good." At least Marty Girardi in WWII GI is silent.


I agree, it was pretty difficult but the beginning was easily done with the sniper from the previous level. Sniper is usually a 1-hit kill weapon and it's very accurate, just aim your crosshair on the enemy that you want to kill and he will die in one hit. For tanks, you have to use Bazooka or the Detonating Explosives to destroy them. The very annoying thing that I found in general about WW2GI is that the enemies seem to be invincible at first until they see you and their sprite becomes active. This is something that was also present in original Duke3D, with enemies such as Enforcers and Mini Battlelords that took no damage if they didn't see you first.

As for quotes, I thought he said "I'm about to smack you with a football bat" but I was pretty close. I also think he says "Sweet, not bad!" when you select third difficulty and when the randomized crates contain health inside. At least this is what sounds to me.

This post has been edited by RunningDuke: 12 August 2017 - 08:05 AM



I played Nam up until the night time level, I think it had a time limit too, and gave up. Not a terrible game but it's not very good. I think it was made by 2-3 people so I give them kudos for their attempt.


I've purchased NAM and WW II GI on Steam for sale for I think $1.49 each recently. Playing those two games like being in the movies Saving Private Ryan and Platoon.


Sorry for the bump of this thread, but there where some recent changes in Eduke32 especially for these games. There is still a small glitch in the WW2GI mode. Hopefully it will be resolved some day :)

NAM is now working as it should. Before, the auto-aim was incorrect making this game even harder than it already is.

About those enemies that cannot be hit unless they have spotted the player, I notices it also. A quick fix for it is to replace the actor statements of these enemies (LIZMAN, etc) in the CON file with a useractor. That's how I did it :)

This post has been edited by Little Tijn: 15 May 2018 - 10:58 AM


User is offline   Sanek 


Is there anyone who bought NAM on Steam? I just realised that I never played any user maps for the game at all, wonder if the re-released version have any kind of a new menu. Or it's just a Dosbox launcher?

User is offline   Newken 


Only DOSBox (0.74 and SVN Daum).

User is offline   Cherno 


I have a soft spot for Nas, plyed it when it came out and still occasionally play it. It's something of a guilty pleasure. It must rank high up there with the games I have completed the most times. I'm currently playing it again. I was, and still am to a certain degree, very interestd in the Vietnam conflict and collected a lot of gear and media related to it. There aren't that many games set in Vietnam, Vietcong is probably the best FPS and then there's also some rea-time tactics game from around 2000 where you control fireteams, squads and platoons from an overhead view. That one is also decent.

Now, back to Nas. I fully acknowledge that it has numerous flaws that severy weaken the experience (I don't care much about the supersoldier handwaving backstory). Some artillery strikes are unfair when they come without warning, although you learn quickly that every open space will be full of falling bombs shortly ;) The enemies seem to have lightning reflexes and do a lot of damage, especially at close range. You also learn to crawl through dense jungle because there might be mines, which is something I rather like because there are never too many on any level and with a grenade they can be destroyed easily. It certainly gives the game a sense of realism, along with the dark jungle where enemies are hard to see... You really have to spray & pray with the M60, sometimes without even knowing if there are any enemies around. I believe this is close to what the real soliders and marines would have had to do in a firefight. Speaking of the environment, they managed to give the maps a good selection or terrain styles, with hamlets, rice paddies, jungle, ravines, waterfalls, cliffs, and built-up sections. The jungle in particular is represented very well when taking into account the relatively primitive graphics. I'm currently porting the game over to GZDoom since I like the engine and Nas hasn't got too many assets that need converting.

It's a good thing eDuke32 got some additions to play this game properly since I was annoyed by the way the M16 behaved like Duke's pistol with horrible accuracy where it was extremely effective in Nam. The hand grenades worked like pipebombs where you have to hit the fire key again after throwing one while you just needed to throw them and they exploded on their own, as they should, in the normal game.

EDIT: The grenades still behave like the pipe bombs.

Now for the major easter egg hidden in Nas. Spoilers! Don't read this if you haven't played the map yet!!!

In the Tour of Duty mission "Payback Time", you basically re-live the movie Predator. You travel through the jungle without any enemies in sight until you come to a camp which has the truck converted to a water pump or generator (which Arnie lifts up and lets it crash into the huts). After you fight your way through it you enter a room where a bloody corpse is hanging from the ceiling, a reference to the hostage rescue mission. After that, you come to a dark passage where you find a fellow soldier's corpse and a radio (radio operator Hawkins is the first commando killed in the movie), and the creepy "voice" of the Predator is heard, seemingly mocking you. Further ahead, you also find bright green blood on a tree (from the "mad minute" sequence), and again an alien sound is heard. Next you come to a fallen tree lying over a river (where Arnie hides from his foe), and then you get carried to a cliff by a stream where you fall from a great height, down into a lake from where you make your way through an area that has been devastated by something powerful, with burned and splintered trees everywhere. At the end, you finally "GET TO DA CHOPPA!" and exit the level.

There is also a super-secret in this level: After entering the area where you find the blood, on the right side look up. just below the ceiling is a small alcove which you can enter if you have the Helicopter item (works like a Jetpack but somehow transforms you into a Huey), I think one can be found somewhere in the level, else just use noclip or give all console command. In this dark cave-like section is a hanging, bloody skeleton and a strange alien machinery with a "beast mode" powerup next to it. When you have it selected, crouch and hit the "use item" key to enter beast mode. You become envisible save for your glowing Predator eyes, and you can shoot a "laser" with the use key (it looks like a flare and has a long reload time, but ammo is unlimited. Still, it's worse than pretty much all your other weapons!). The invisibility is also just cosmetic. Even worse, you will find no enemies after this point if you killed everyone in the camp so you don't get to try your newfound powers.

This post has been edited by Cherno: 03 June 2018 - 11:55 AM


User is offline   Hendricks266 

  • Weaponized Autism


View PostCherno, on 03 June 2018 - 11:42 AM, said:

EDIT: The grenades still behave like the pipe bombs.

They work like grenades for me. Are you using the latest EDuke32?

User is offline   Cherno 


I just saw that I accidently typed "Nas" whenever I tried to type "Nam". Hope no one is confused :D

User is offline   Micky C 

  • Honored Donor


I thought the first one was a typo, but then you wrote it again and again. I was starting to think it was some kind of mod :o

User is offline   Cherno 


View PostMicky C, on 14 June 2018 - 05:08 AM, said:

I thought the first one was a typo, but then you wrote it again and again. I was starting to think it was some kind of mod :o

I first wrote it as "NAM" but then realized the titel is actually not all caps, so I quickly changed all occurances but mistyped :D

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