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Its contents could be incorrect, so don't take anything in here as a proven fact.
The steel gonad o' death is a weird unused mode found in Carmageddon II. It's still under research, as it can only currently be activated with the "Super" patch of Carmageddon II.
It's unknown what this thing is for sure, but it's not a powerup. It can be activated by cheats, but that doesn't mean it's a powerup, because the cheat mode and fly mode can also be activated with cheats. Unfortunately, nobody knows what the key combination for this cheat is.
"The Steel Gonad o'Death was a physics test of spheroid physics shapes, it was a bit buggy IIRC and so never made it into the released games", as said by Neil Barnden (nobby) on the Kickstarter campaign.
Using Cesm's cheats editor, one can switch the string for this mode with an existing one. The same can also be done with other cheats. After making the changes, all that the player needs to do is to start the game and type the selected cheat code. Then, this mode will be activated.
"The Steel Gonad o'Death was written by Richard Batty, the programmer in charge of crashing and car damage, as a distraction when going mad fixing bugs late one night. He did it for a laugh, and showed it to me the next morning. It was so funny, we tried to get it in there as a powerup. However there were just too many side-effects and bugs with it, as documented here, so it didn't make the cut. The compromise we decided upon was to leave it in there as a cheat so people can have a laugh with it if they wanted to." —Edited by Batwick - Carma Lead Programmer and owner of Stainless - on September 25th, 2012 at 15:59
This mode turns the car's shell into a giant ball (hence, gonad; testicle). The loose components (windows, doors etc.) disappear. This mode isn't totally implemented, so the car's aspect is really weird. The driver will most likely be embedded with the car as well.
This giant gonad is indestructible; not even explosives can damage it. It's also notably strong, if the player is able to guide it into opponents.
Controlling it is a bit awkward. The four direction keys move the ball in that direction, relative to the camera's position (so hitting reverse will always drive towards the camera). Pressing the handbrake will instantly halt all spinning momentum.
Writing the cheat code again will make the ball grow even bigger. If one of the ball's parts touches a wall when it changes shape or grows, it may freeze the game, because two parts are embedded inside one another.
Entering Action Replay mode will reveal that the car's shell is still normal, which means that only the aspect changed. Recovering while in this mode may sink the car underground, seeing as it grew, its coordinates shifted position and now it considers the ground to be a bit lower. Using kangaroo on command can fix this.
The powerup still has a lot of undocumented effects. Some users claim to see opponents warp away when the player gets close, however this was never the case - the AI knows nothing of the "powerup".
How to activateEdit
First, the player needs to have the game updated to the V1.02A version with the "super" patch that can be found at WASTED! or at Road Reaction. Then, (s)he needs to download the cheat editor. The player must then load the
CARMA2_HW.exe executable using the first button in the cheat editor. It'll create a cheat file afterwards. Then, the player can change the newly created
carma2_hw.cht file. One of the cheat code's lines must be changed. Instead of having the powerup number, the player must associate one of the strings to the steel gonad. To do so, the last field (comma separated) must be changed on one of them to -1; a short one like ZAZAZ is obviously recommended. Then, the player must save the file and apply changes with the cheat editor. All that's left to do is to open the game and type the code.
Looking inside the
CARMA2_HW.exe file of the original CARMA2 game i.e. not the patched version; one can find the text for the mode. The way to activate it is still unknown to this date.
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