Duke Nukem 3D
|Duke Nukem 3D|
Tiger Electronics (Game.com)
Lion Entertainment (Mac OS)
Lobotomy Software (SS)
Aardvark Software (PS)
Tec Toy (MD)
MachineWorks Northwest (iOS & AND)
General Arcade (Steam)
Abstraction Games (PS3, Vita)
|Publisher(s)||GT Interactive Software
MacSoft Games (Mac OS)
Tec Toy (MD)
3D Realms (XBLA)
MachineWorks Northwest (iOS & AND)
Devolver Digital (Steam, PS3, Vita)
Allen H. Blum III
Mark Knight (PSX)
Modified Zero Tolerance engine(MD)
Duke Nukem 3D is a first-person shooter video game developed by 3D Realms and published by GT Interactive Software. The full version was originally released for the PC in May 1996, while the shareware version was released on January 29, 1996. It is a sequel to the platform games Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem II, published by 3D Realms. An expansion pack, known as the Plutonium PAK, was released in November 1996. The Atomic Edition, a standalone version of the game that included content from the Plutonium PAK, was later released; the original version of Duke Nukem 3D has since been discontinued.
Duke Nukem 3D features the adventures of the titular macho Duke Nukem, voiced by Jon St. John, who fights against an alien invasion on Earth. Along with Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, Duke Nukem 3D is considered to be responsible for popularizing first-person shooters, and was released to major acclaim. Reviewers praised the interactivity of the environments, gameplay, level design, and unique risqué humor, a mix of pop-culture satire and lampooning of over-the-top Hollywood action heroes.
The game's lasting appeal, and impact on modern video games, has led to Duke Nukem 3D being considered one of the most important video games of all time. The game's violent nature, erotic elements, and portrayal of women incited controversy. After fifteen years in development hell, a direct sequel was released called Duke Nukem Forever.
As a first-person shooter whose gameplay is similar to Doom, the gameplay of Duke Nukem 3D involves moving through levels presented from the protagonist's point of view, shooting enemies on the way. The environment of Duke Nukem 3D is highly destructible and interactive; most props can be destroyed by the player.
Levels were designed in a fairly non-linear manner such that players can advantageously use air ducts, back doors, and sewers to avoid enemies or find hidden caches. These locations are also filled with objects with which the player can interact, that either benefit the player in some form, light switches make it easier to see, while water fountains and broken hydrants provide some health points or simply diversion, and tipping strippers provokes a quote from Duke, and a provocative reveal from the dancer.
Weapons include the "Mighty Foot", a basic kick attack, a pistol, a shotgun, a chain gun, similar in design to a TKB-059, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, pipe bombs, freeze and shrink rays, laser land mines, and the rapid fire "Devastator" rocket launcher. There is also an extra weapon known as the "Expander", a complete opposite of the shrink ray weapon, which is only available in the Atomic Edition version of the game.
Other items can be picked up during play. A portable medkit allows the players to heal Duke at will. Steroids speed up Duke's movement, as well as instantly reversing the effects of the shrinker gun. Nightvision goggles allow players to see enemies in the dark. The "HoloDuke" device projects a hologram of Duke which can be used to distract enemies. Protective boots allow Duke to cross dangerously hot or toxic terrain. Where progress requires more aquatic legwork, scuba gear, an aqua-lung, allows Duke to take longer trips away from air. Duke's jetpack allows the player to move vertically.
The game features a wide range of monsters; some of which are aliens and other mutated humans. The LAPD have been turned into "Pig Cops", a play on the derogatory term "pig" for police officers, with LARD emblazoned on their uniforms. As is usual for a first-person shooter, Duke Nukem encounters a large number of lesser foes, and a small number of boss enemies, usually at the end of chapters. Like Duke, these enemies have access to a wide range of weapons and equipment, and some weaker enemies have jetpacks.
Duke Nukem 3D features multiplayer. At the time of its release, Internet-based gaming was just beginning. Duke Nukem 3D did not support the TCP/IP client/server model, instead based its network play on the IPX LAN, modem or serial cable. Duke Nukem 3D players often either battled modem-to-modem, using the IPX network utility Kali or the Total Entertainment Network (TEN) online pay service. Kali allowed users to connect to a chat room to host and join games. Duke Nukem 3D was one of the more popular games on TEN prior to the closure of the network in 1999. The game was also supported by DWANGO.
Duke Nukem 3D 's levels were often used as the battlegrounds for these encounters, and users were even able to create their own levels, or maps, using the level editor bundled with the game, which was also used by the developers to design the initial levels. The game also features co-operative play, co-op, which allows players to complete the story based single player mode together. In Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition, a new game play mode was introduced: Duke-Tag, a "capture the flag" style mode.
Duke Nukem 3D has been ported to run on modern Microsoft Windows variants including Windows XP and Windows 7. This has been made possible since the game's source code was publicly released. Various source ports have been made including EDuke32, JFDuke3D, hDuke, and xDuke. All four offer the original visual appearance of the game, while EDuke32 also supports OpenGL rendering including the capability to use fan-created modern graphics using the High Resolution Pack. hDuke and xDuke can still be played online in multiplayer 'DukeMatch' format using launchers such as Duke Matcher and YANG, both freely available. EDuke32 's multiplayer is in a state of development hell following an attempt to rewrite the network functionality using a client-server model.
Duke Nukem 3D is set on Earth "sometime in the early 21st century". The levels of Duke Nukem 3D take players outdoors and indoors through rendered street scenes, military bases, deserts, a flooded city, space stations, moon bases, and a Japanese restaurant.
The game contains several humorous references to pop culture. Some of Duke's lines are drawn from movies such as Aliens, Dirty Harry, Evil Dead II, Full Metal Jacket, Jaws, Pulp Fiction, and They Live; the mutated women saying "Kill me" is a reference to Aliens. Players will encounter corpses of famous characters such as Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, Snake Plissken, the protagonist of Doom, and a smashed T-800. In the first episode, players navigate a tunnel in the wall of a prison cell hidden behind a poster, just like in The Shawshank Redemption. During the second episode, players can see The Monolith (from 2001: A Space Odyssey) on the Moon. In one bathroom, 867-5309 is written on a wall.
There is little story in the game, only a brief text prelude located under "Help" in the Main Menu, and a few cutscenes after the completion of an episode. The game picks up right after the events of Duke Nukem II, with Duke returning to Earth in his space cruiser. As Duke descends on Los Angeles in hopes of taking a vacation, his ship is shot down by unknown hostiles. While sending a distress signal, Duke learns that aliens are attacking Los Angeles and have mutated the LAPD. With his vacation plans now ruined, Duke hits the "eject" button, and vows to do whatever it takes to stop the alien invasion.
In "Episode One: L.A. Meltdown", Duke fights his way through a dystopian Los Angeles. At a strip club, he is captured by pig-cops, but escapes the alien-controlled penitentiary and tracks down the alien cruiser responsible for the invasion in the San Andreas Fault. Duke discovers that the aliens were capturing women, and detonates the ship. Levels in this episode include a movie theater, a Red Light District, a prison, and a nuclear-waste disposal facility.
In "Episode Two: Lunar Apocalypse", Duke journeys to space, where he finds many of the captured women held in various incubators throughout space stations that had been conquered by the aliens. Duke reaches the alien mothership on the Moon and kills an alien Overlord. As Duke inspects the ship's computer, it is revealed that the plot to capture women was merely a ruse to distract him. The aliens have already begun their attack on Earth.
In "Episode Three: Shrapnel City", Duke battles the massive alien resistance through Los Angeles once again, and kills the leader of alien menace: the Cycloid Emperor. The game ends as Duke promises that after some "R&R", he will be "...ready for more action!", as an anonymous woman calls him back to bed. Levels in this episode include a sushi bar, a movie set, a subway, and a hotel.
The story continues in the Atomic Edition. In "Episode Four: The Birth", it is revealed that the aliens used a captured woman to give birth to the Alien Queen, a creature which can quickly spawn deadly alien protector drones. Duke is dispatched back to Los Angeles to fight hordes of aliens, including the protector drones. Eventually, Duke finds the lair of the Alien Queen, and kills her, thus thwarting the alien plot. Levels in this episode include a fast-food restaurant ("Duke Burger"), a supermarket, a Disneyland parody called "Babe Land," a police station, the Exxon Valdez, and Area 51.
Duke Nukem 3D was developed on a budget of roughly $300,000. The development team consisted of eight people for most of the development cycle, increasing to 12 or 13 people near the end. Scott Miller of 3D Realms recalled that "with Duke 3D, unlike every shooter that came before, we wanted to have sort of real life locations like a cinema theatre, you know, strip club, bookstores..."
LameDuke is an early beta version of Duke Nukem 3D, which was released by 3D Realms as a "bonus" one year after the release of the official version. It has been released as is, with no support. LameDuke features four episodes: Mr. Caliber, Mission Cockroach, Suck Hole and Hard Landing. Some weapons were removed and/or altered from the original versions.
Lee Jackson's theme song "Grabbag" has elicited many spin-offs and remixes over the years by both fans and professional musicians, including an officially sanctioned studio version by the popular thrash metal outfit Megadeth. Another version of the song was recorded by Chris Kline in August 2005. 3D Realms featured it on the front page of their website and contracted with Kline to use it to promote their Xbox Live release of Duke Nukem 3D.
- Full Version: The full version was the first official version released in May 1996 and contained the original 3 episodes.
- Plutonium PAK/Atomic Edition: The Atomic Edition of Duke Nukem 3D was released in November 1996 as a standalone game. It contained the original 3 episodes, as well as a new eleven-level fourth episode, bringing the level total to 41 as opposed to 30 in the original Duke Nukem 3D. The Plutonium PAK was released as an upgrade package to convert the original release of Duke Nukem 3D (v1.3d) to the Atomic Edition (v1.4, later patched to v1.5). It introduced two new enemies, the Pig Cop Tank and the Protector Drone; a new final boss, the Alien Queen; and a new weapon, the Expander. Changes to the script made the game easier to mod, and players could set up a multiplayer session against CPU bots. This is the only official add-on for the game developed by 3D Realms.
- Megaton Edition: Released through Steam on March 20, 2013, the Megaton Edition includes Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition, Duke It Out In D.C., Duke Caribbean: Life's a Beach, and Duke: Nuclear Winter all running on OpenGL, as well as the original MS-DOS version of Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition. It supports SteamPlay for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and is based on the code of the JFDuke3D source port by Jonathon Fowler. Online multiplayer was added to the game in January 2014.
- A bundle released in 1998 called East Meets West includes the full versions of Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition and Shadow Warrior.
- A bundle released in 1998 called Duke Nukem: Kill-A-Ton Collection features Duke Nukem I (Duke Nukum), Duke Nukem II, Duke Nukem 3D (full version and the Plutonium PAK), Duke It Out In D.C., Duke!ZONE II, Duke Xtreme, and various editing utilities.
- The original Duke Nukem 3D includes the full versions of Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem II as bonus content.
- Duke: The Apocalypse contains Duke!ZONE II, Duke Xtreme, and a T-shirt.
- Duke: The Apocalypse 2 contains Duke!ZONE, Duke It Out In D.C., a strategy guide, and a T-shirt.
- Duke It Out In D.C.: This is an authorized add-on developed by Sunstorm Interactive and published by WizardWorks Software; it was released in March 1997. President Bill Clinton is captured by alien forces, and Duke must save him. This expansion pack featured levels that were based on real-world locations, such as: the White House, the FBI headquarters, the Smithsonian museum, and the Washington Monument and other places in Washington, D.C. The add-on was also included as part of an official compilation called Duke Nukem: Kill-A-Ton Collection through business deals with 3D Realms. Charlie Wiederhold created levels for this add-on.
- Duke Caribbean: Life's a Beach: This is an authorized add-on developed by Sunstorm Interactive and published by WizardWorks Software; it was released in December 1997. Duke is relaxing on a tropical island when he discovers that the aliens are having their own "vacation". This add-on includes a sunny Caribbean theme with levels that take place on beaches and vacation hotels. Charlie Wiederhold created several levels for this add-on. Wiederhold was later hired by 3D Realms to work on the sequel Duke Nukem Forever.
- Duke: Nuclear Winter: This is an authorized add-on developed by Simply Silly Software and published by WizardWorks Software; it was released in December 1997. Santa Claus is being mind-controlled by aliens into causing trouble on Earth. Several of the levels take place near the North Pole.
- Duke!ZONE: An authorized add-on released in 1996, published by WizardWorks Software, which includes 500 fan-made levels and various editing utilities.
- Duke!ZONE II: An authorized follow-up add-on to Duke!ZONE, published by WizardWorks Software and released in 1997. Duke!ZONE II contains three episodes, each containing seven levels, created by Simply Silly Software and the same 500 fan-made levels from the original Duke!ZONE.
- Duke Xtreme: An authorized add-on released in 1997 and developed by Sunstorm Interactive, containing 50 levels and various editing utilities.
- Duke Assault: An add-on released in 1997 containing over 1500 levels for Duke Nukem 3D. It was published by WizardWorks Software and created by fans in the Duke Nukem 3D modding community.
- Duke Nukem's Penthouse Paradise: This is an official add-on for Duke Nukem 3D, available exclusively from GT Interactive and Penthouse Magazine. Taking place between Duke Nukem 3D and the Atomic Edition, aliens interrupt Duke's vacation and a couple of Penthouse photo shoots. Duke has to fight his way through a hotel, clubs, and, finally, the Penthouse offices.
Console versions and add-ons
Duke Nukem 3D was ported to many of the consoles of that time. All the ports featured some sort of new content.
- Duke Nukem 3D (Game.com) was released in 1997 in the USA only. Unlike every other version of the game, Duke Nukem cannot turn; he can only move forward, backward, and strafe to the left or right. Due to the Game.com's monochrome screen, it is also the only version to lack color. It includes only four levels from each of the original three episodes for a total of 12 levels. These episodes were modified to accommodate Duke Nukem's inability to turn.
- Duke Nukem 3D (Sega Saturn) was ported by Lobotomy Software and published by Sega. It retains the original name and uses Lobotomy's SlaveDriver engine. This version uses the Sega NetLink for online gaming, and has built-in support for the Saturn's analog pad. It also includes a hidden multiplayer mini-game called Death Tank Zwei, and an exclusive bonus level called Urea 51, accessed through the main level "Fahrenheit". It was the final game branded by Sega of America under the Deep Water label, employed for games featuring adult content such as this game and Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side.
- Duke Nukem: Total Meltdown (titled simply Duke Nukem in Europe), the PlayStation version, contains all three original episodes, plus a new one, Plug 'n' Pray, which includes six extra levels and a secret level. The secret level was also included in the PC version. The new episode features several new enemies, including three new types of Pig Cops, and a new final boss, robot CyberKeef. This version also features remixed music, some rearranged from the PC version, and some original, in streaming XA-Audio made by Mark Knight.
- Duke Nukem 64 is a censored port for Nintendo 64 and features a split screen 4-player mode. In-game music was removed, and many items were renamed to avoid drug and sex references. Some new lines of dialogue were recorded specifically for this version to remove swearing. Several levels were altered to include areas from the Plutonium Pak, such as a "Duke Burger" outlet in the second level which was not in the original PC version. Game levels are played sequentially instead of as separate "episodes". Other changes include a fully 3D model for the final boss and new weapons. The Alien Beast monster, seen in the Plutonium Pak, also appears a few times in the standard levels. It did not appear in the original PC version.
- Duke Nukem 3D (Sega Mega Drive) was released in 1998 by Tec Toy. The visuals were drastically simplified, being closer to early shooters like Wolfenstein 3D. It consisted solely of Lunar Apocalypse, the second from the original game's three "episodes", which was heavily modified to suit the engine. This version was released in South America only.
- Duke Nukem 3D (Xbox Live) was released on September 24, 2008. This version features: the ability to "rewind" the game to any prior point upon dying, save clips of gameplay, and play co-operatively online, as well as the standard "Dukematch" online mode. The music received a slight quality upgrade with modern MIDI tools.
- Duke Nukem 3D (iPhone/iPod Touch) was released on August 11, 2009 and was ported Machineworks Northwest. The game employs a new engine, which uses a trademarked touch-screen system called TapShoot to allow players to lock onto and dispatch foes. An update in September 2009 made the game compatible with first and second-generation iPod Touch. It also added a new control scheme which lets players control Duke by dragging their finger around the screen.
- Duke Nukem 3D (Nokia N900) was released on December 29, 2009. As shown in a MaemoWorld's video, Duke is controlled using the Qwerty keypad and touchscreen.
- Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition (PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita) was released on January 6, 2015 in North America and January 7, 2015 in Europe. It is a port of the Megaton Edition released on Steam for Windows, Mac and Linux. It was developed by Abstraction Games and published by Devolver Digital. It features Cross-Buy and Cross-Play between both platforms.
Following the release of the Doom source code in 1997, gamers wanted a similar source code release from 3D Realms. The last major game to make use of the Duke Nukem 3D source code was TNT Team's WWII GI in 1999. Its programmer, Matthew Saettler, obtained permission from 3D Realms to expand the gameplay enhancements done on WWII GI to Duke Nukem 3D.
EDuke was a semi-official branch of Duke Nukem 3D that was released as a patch as Duke Nukem 3D v2.0 for Atomic Edition users on July 28, 2000. It included a demo mod made by several beta testers. It focused primarily on enhancing the CON scripting language in ways which allowed those modifying the game to do much more with the system than originally possible. Though a further version was planned, it never made it out of beta. It was eventually canceled due to programmer time constraints. About a month after the release of the Duke Nukem 3D source code, Blood project manager Matt Saettler released the source code for both EDuke v2.0 and EDuke v2.1, the test version of which would have eventually become the next EDuke release, under the GPL.
The source code to the Duke Nukem 3D v1.5 executable, which uses the Build engine, was released as free software under the GPL on April 1, 2003. The game content remains under a proprietary license. The game was quickly ported by enthusiasts to modern operating systems.
The first Duke Nukem 3D port was from icculus.org. It is a cross-platform project that allows the game to be played on: AmigaOS, AmigaOS 4, AROS, BeOS, FreeBSD, Linux, Mac OS X, MorphOS, Solaris, and Windows rather than DOS. The icculus.org codebase would later be used as the base for several other ports, including Duke3d_32.
Another popular early project was Jonathon Fowler's JFDuke3D, which, in December 2003, received backing from the original author of Build, programmer Ken Silverman. Fowler, in cooperation with Silverman, released a new version of JFDuke3D using Polymost, an OpenGL-enhanced renderer for Build which allows hardware acceleration and 3D model support along with 32-bit color high resolution textures. Another project based on JFDuke3D called xDuke, unrelated to the xDuke project based on Duke3d_w32, runs on the Xbox. Silverman has since helped Fowler with a large portion of other engine work, including updating the network code, and helping to maintain various other aspects of the engine. Development appears to have stopped; as of January 2015, there have been no new versions since October 9, 2005.
While a few short-lived DOS-based EDuke projects emerged, it was not until the release of EDuke32, an extended version of Duke3D incorporating variants of both Fowler's Microsoft Windows JFDuke3D code, and Saettler's EDuke code, by one of 3D Realms' forum moderators in late 2004, that EDuke's scripting extensions received community focus. Among the various enhancements, support for advanced shader model 3.0 based graphics was added to EDuke32 during late 2008-early 2009. In June 2008, thanks to significant porting contributions from the DOSBox team, EDuke32 became the only Duke Nukem 3D port to compile and run natively on 64-bit Linux systems without the use of a 32-bit compatibility environment.
On April 1, 2009, an OpenGL Shader Model 3.0 renderer was revealed to have been developed for EDuke32, named Polymer to distinguish from Ken Silverman's Polymost. It allows for much more modern effects such as dynamic lighting and normal mapping. Although Polymer is fully functional, it is technically incomplete and unoptimized, and is still in development. As of the fifth installment of the High Resolution Pack, released in 2011, the Polymer renderer is mandatory. Another significant development of EDuke32 in 2011, is true room over room (TROR), where sectors can be placed over other sectors, and can be seen at the same time. In practice, this allows for true 3-dimensional level design that was previously impossible, although the engine is still 2D.
In February 2013, a source code review article was published that described the internal working of the code.
|This section requires expansion. (August 2013)|
All versions of the game have earned a positive aggregate score on GameRankings and Metacritic. The original release on MS-DOS holds an aggregate score of 88.50% on GameRankings and a score of 89/100 on Metacritic. The version released on Sega Saturn holds an aggregate score of 82.50% on GameRankings. The version released on Xbox 360 holds an aggregate score of 80.67% on GameRankings while it holds a score of 80/100 on Metacritic. The iOS version holds an aggregate score of 63.80% on GameRankings.
Duke Nukem 3D was a commercial hit, selling about 3.5 million copies. Reviewers paid a lot of attention to the sexual content within the game. Reception of this element varied: Tim Soete of GameSpot felt that it was "morally questionable", while the Game Revolution reviewer noted that it was "done in a tongue-in-cheek manner," and he was "not personally offended".
In 1996, Next Generation ranked it as the 35th top game of all time, called "for many, the game Quake should have been." It was named #37 overall among best games of all time by Computer Gaming World in 1996, and voted #13 overall in PC Gamer magazine's readers' all-time top games poll. The editors of PC Game ranked it as the 12th top game of all time in 2001 citing the game's humor and pop-culture references, and as the 15th best games of all time in 2005. GamePro included it among the most important video games of all time. In 2009, IGN's Cam Shea ranked it as the ninth top 10 Xbox Live Arcade game, stating that it was as fun as it was in its initial release, and praised the ability to rewind to any point before the player died.
Duke Nukem 3D moves the 'shooter' through pornography stores, where Duke can use XXX sex posters for target practice. Duke throws cash at a prostituted woman telling her to 'Shake it, Baby' his gun ever ready. In the game bonus points are awarded for the murder of these mostly prostituted and partially nude women. Duke blows up stained glass windows in an empty church or goes to strip clubs where Japanese women lower their kimonos exposing their breasts. Duke is encouraged to kill defenseless, often bound women.
However, the game does not have a scoring or rewards system of any kind, either for killing women or doing anything else. Instead, the game spawns even more enemies if players kill a woman. No weapons, items, or power-ups, are ever given to players in return for violence towards women of any kind. Though a cosmetic shower of dollar bills appears if a stripper is killed, these cannot be collected and provide no gameplay or bonus score. The only exception is the "Fusion Station" level, where killing a certain woman will yield a shotgun as well as spawn an enemy. In response to the criticism encountered, censored versions of the game were released in certain countries to avoid it being banned altogether. A similar censored version was carried at Wal-Mart retail stores in the United States.
In Australia, the game was originally refused classification on release. 3D Realms repackaged the game with the parental lock feature permanently enabled, although a patch available on the 3D Realms website allowed the user to revert the game back into its uncensored US version. The OFLC then attempted to have the game pulled from the shelves, but it was discovered that the distributor had notified them of this fact and the rating could not be surrendered; six months later, the game was reclassified and released uncensored with an MA15+ rating. In Germany, the BPjM placed the game on their "List B" ("List of Media Harmful to Young People") of videos games, thus prohibiting its advertisement in the public. However, it was not fully confiscated, meaning that an adult could still request to see the game and buy it. In 1999, Duke Nukem 3D was banned in Brazil, along with Doom and several other first-person shooters after a rampage, in and around a movie theater, was supposedly inspired by the first level in the game.
Despite such concerns from critics, legislators, and publishers, Scott Miller later recounted that 3D Realms saw very little negative feedback to the game's controversial elements from actual gamers or their parents. He pointed out that Duke Nukem 3D was appropriately rated "M" and had no real nudity, and speculated that that was enough to make it inoffensive to the general public.
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"I'm gonna rip off your head and excrete down your neck" [...] "It's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum... and I’m all outta gum." [...] That bubblegum line first appeared in the 1988 film They Live. The head-ripping quote was, of course, courtesy of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman from Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket.
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