Devil Hulk

        I recently got Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, after years of it sitting on my wish list. It didn’t disappoint at all. I heard it was a game where you could play as the Hulk, rampaging around the city and destroying everything in sight, and it was. I heard you can make all sorts of ludicrous weapons out of things like cars and the like, and you can. But what really surprised me was that a game so focused on the simple joy of destruction can also have a gripping plot too.
        The game begins with Bruce Banner being attacked by the military, who have been searching for him in order to capture him and likely kill him. The reason? Well, due to a radioactive incident in his past, when Bruce gets angry, he turns into a giant green humanoid called the Hulk. Sadly, he doesn’t retain his own personality when this happens, since the Hulk is effectively a different person, one who seems mostly like he wants to be left alone, and will smash anything that tries to harm or impair him.
        Naturally this causes a lot of destruction, which is why the military is after Bruce, and why this game is so much fun! I love how Hulk can run down a street and send everything flying, how he can scale buildings, punch his enemies and send them sprawling, and my favorite of all is the weaponization; the ability to grab objects and turn them into weapons. Car? Now it’s metal boxing gloves. Wreaking ball? Flail. Bus? Surfboard! Seriously, that sort of devastation never seems to get old.
        But Bruce of course doesn’t feel that way, and has been trying to make a machine to get rid of the Hulk personality, and stop his transformations. When the military attacks him, they destroy his cabin, and his research, forcing him to start all over and room with a friend. Obviously making a machine like Bruce needs would require a lot of parts and such, which they lack the funds to acquire, but Bruce’s friend Samson has a plan.
        Through the use of subliminal suggestions, they can use Hulk to find these items and accomplish tasks to finish their device. It’s a very risky plan, but they have little choice. That is where the game’s missions come in. Meanwhile, the military and a secret government organization called Division are creating anti-Hulk weapons and steadily grabbing more power in the city.
        Compounding all this is that Bruce is being mentally attacked by another personality, a sinister force that wants to destroy him and take his place. This force even calls itself Bruce’s devil, and so he is called Devil Hulk. Though at first he only whispers in Bruce’s ears and gives him scares, he eventually tricks him by influencing him to destroy what he thinks is Division’s headquarters, when in reality he is smashing ordinary buildings and slaughtering civilians. This makes Samson give up Bruce to the military, but his confinement doesn’t last long- Hulk busts out, and Samson redeems himself by revealing while they were in the military base he stole a component they needed for their device.
        With this device finished, Bruce uses it to delve into his own mind and face his inner demon. I’m not sure if he turned into the Hulk to face it, but whatever the reason the player faces Devil Hulk as the Hulk. This does make a degree of sense- Hulk shows up essentially to protect Bruce from whatever trouble he’s in, so it may serve as a shield psychologically. Regardless, the battle is about to begin.
        Devil Hulk is definitely much bigger than Hulk himself, easily comparable to a building, with a tail and scales covering him. His eyes glow brightly as well, and unlike Hulk, he is a very eloquent speaker. Just listen to his greeting to Hulk: “You can’t win, Hulk. You’re just a frightened child. You’re a fractured piece of Bruce’s psyche… a little boy crying out to be loved. And you’re afraid of me- as you should be- because I’m going to erase you from his mind.”
        Hulk’s response is simple but effective- “Hulk is not afraid. Hulk is the strongest one there is.” With that boast, the fight truly begins. First of all, unlike the real world the rest of the game takes place in, there are no other enemies or objects to be used by Hulk. Nothing can be made into weapons or thrown. Just him and Devil Hulk, in a fight to the death. Secondly, the arena is a giant flat piece of earth surrounded by fire, certainly helping the devil imagery, and Devil Hulk himself spends most of his time sitting in a giant pit, since he is invincible there. The only way to draw him out is to smash these egg-like objects that surround the pit. However, while there are no weapons in this arena, the flat space does give one advantage, in that one has plenty of room to maneuver and dodge, and since Hulk recovers health over time, this gives plenty of space to do so.
        Now, Devil Hulk’s range may suffer a bit from being in a pit, but he’s fully capable of hitting you from in there, and if you aren’t careful he’ll grab Hulk and try to eat him. Plus, he has a variety of magical attacks as well, such as conjuring up spikes from the ground, spitting out fireballs, and shooting ice bursts to freeze you. While physically this shouldn’t be possible, remember this fight is taking place in Bruce’s mind, specifically the part where Devil Hulk resides- the area is basically Devil Hulk’s personal reality where he could dream up anything, so it makes sense he can do such feats. They even become his undoing in a way- those spikes don’t vanish after he summons them, and while they may get in the way, they can be destroyed or picked up and thrown.
        However, despite his invincibility, Devil Hulk is not unstoppable, and smashing those eggs forces him to come out of the pit to fight you up close, I presume because they were keeping him invincible, and destroying them means he has to get out of the pit or become a target. In any case, once they are broken, Devil Hulk jumps out of the pit and Hulk can start hitting him. He won’t actually flinch from any attacks, though, so caution is advised.
        Now he’ll bring his massive bulk and strength into the fight, punching, stomping, and memorably he dropped on me a few times. He slams you into the ground, then drops on you, which takes away a lot of health. He is still using his other abilities as well, however. For instance, all his punches are on fire, and he can still freeze you in place. This is especially annoying because it is only now he can be harmed, and he will not remain out in the open for long. After a short while he will retreat back into his pit, and the cycle begins anew.
        I would also like to point out, of course, that Devil Hulk is not silent throughout all this. Rather, he constantly taunts and mocks Hulk, referring to him as ‘child’ or ‘boy’, telling him that pain is good for him, to embrace it, while also occasionally mocking Bruce’s resistance to him. All of this points to a sadistic personality, one who enjoys hurting others, and he asks why Hulk ‘persecutes’ him, and demands he stop hurting him, suggesting that while to him hurting others is fine, he sees himself being harmed as terrible. A evil pain-loving hypocrite, which is what you’d expect- but he hints that there is more to it than that- he also says that one day Bruce will thank him for what he does, and that he isn’t to blame for the ‘darkness’ in Bruce’s mind.
        This, his referring to Hulk as a child, plus his intelligence suggests to me that Devil Hulk has been around in one way or another throughout Bruce’s life, and it is thanks to his mind being fractured by his transformations into the Hulk that he has surfaced to try and take control. He could be seen as an embodiment of Bruce’s darker tendencies, which would explain why he says he is not to blame- he came into being because of Bruce’s own personality, so he only has himself to blame. He created his own devil.
        He also says that “What I do, I do for you, Child.” Implying his calling Hulk that is less an insult rather than him literally seeing Hulk as his own child, and he may genuinely think what he is doing is for the best. When beaten, he even asks “Where did I go so wrong?” as though he had raised Hulk to do something, and now he’s rebelling against him. Before he fades away, he even pleads with Bruce, but he vanishes before he can finish what he was going to say. However, it seems to me that, while he is a destructive monster that enjoys the pain of others, he doesn’t see this as an evil thing.
        He thinks it is something Bruce and the Hulk should embrace, that he is trying to teach them. He thought, more than likely, seeing all the people trying to hurt them, and all the power they have, that they should hurt those who persecute them, and essentially become a feared demon, who no one would dare cross. Then they would be safe, and likely be ruling the world or something like that. In that light, he comes off as a very warped and misguided father figure.
        That’s rather sad, really. He was trying to help, but his sort of help is not what is really needed. Hulk defeats him, and he fades back into Bruce’s subconscious. And it’s a good thing he did, because if you want to see what it would have been like if he won, then the final boss is a good example. And that, dear viewers, will be my next article.

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