Yes, those monkeys really are in the game. There are a surprisingly large number of enemy/sound changing Easter Eggs in this game, mostly dependent on the system clock and the birthdays of the people who were involved in its production.
There were a couple things I forgot to cover in the episode. One is the stereo sound support, which for some reason is centred on the player's position on-screen, rather than the screen itself. This means if something explodes on the left of the player, but on the right of the screen, the sound comes out of the left speaker. It's kind of disorienting.
I also don't like the saving system. Being a PC game, it has a saving feature like many PC games of the time, as well as quick-saving, but it completely lacks any form of auto-saving. If you die, and you haven't been religiously quick-saving, you can't continue. Even Tyrian 2000 simply sends you back to the pre-mission screen instead of penalizing you for not saving.
If you feel like cheating, just press backspace mid-mission. Your energy will be restored to max, your money will be set to nothing, and you'll get a Deathray. Interestingly enough, pressing backspace multiple times will give you additional Deathrays, which you can then sell to get all the money you could ever want. A lot of Apogee's games have very simple-to-activate cheats.
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