Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Duke Nukem 3D
Duke Nukem 3D is a first-person shooter developed by 3D Realms and released on January 29, 1996 by Apogee Software, featuring the adventures of Duke Nukem, loosely based on a character that had appeared in earlier platform games by the company : Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem 2.
- "Murderous aliens have landed in futuristic Los Angeles, and humans suddenly find themselves atop the endangered species list. The odds are a million-to-one, just the way Duke likes it!"
Taking on the role of Duke Nukem, players must fight through 28 levels spread over three chapters (later versions of the game added an extra chapter). As usual for a first-person shooter, players encounter a whole host of different enemies, and can engage them with a range of weaponry. As well as killing aliens to free the Earth, players must also puzzle-solve to progress through the various levels. Some puzzles allow access to extra, hidden levels.
Duke Nukem 3D is mainly notable for the (often crude) humour it introduced into what had previously been a fairly humourless genre, including a stream of one-liners from the title character. Many of these related to the frequently gruesome deaths meated out by the Duke ("That's gotta hurt"), or to interactions with useable props such as toilets ("Ahhh, much better"). The game also references many films and other games, usually humourously. For instance, when the player comes upon a corpse that closely resembles the player character in Doom, Duke comments, "That's one doomed space marine". This quote became famous after websites dedicated to Duke Nukem 3D began reporting that Doom's publisher, id Software, had filed a lawsuit against Apogee Games and 3D Realms, trying to obtain an injunction to remove it (the suit was ultimately unsuccessful).
Another notable quality of the game was immense interactivity and realism of the levels. While many games took place within relatively confined corridors, usually in gloomy, claustrophobic bases, the levels of Duke Nukem 3D took the player through attractively rendered street scenes, deserts, flooded cities, space stations, moon bases and even Japanese villas. As well as being highly detailed (for the time), these locations were also filled with objects that the player can interact with (including light switches, toilets, pool tables, arcade games, closed-circuit cameras and, infamously, strippers). While these rarely had a crucial role in play, they gave Duke Nukem 3d an immersive feel greater than that in its rivals. As indicated already, they also usually added considerably to its humour.
The game also featured some of the most varied weapons in any first-person shooter game. Traditional weapons such as pistols, shotguns and machine guns were augmented by the inclusion of a range of more imaginative weapons, some of which, even today (Spring 2005), are still unique to Duke Nukem 3D. Pipe bombs with remote triggers and laser trip bombs allowed the player to set traps for enemies to blunder into. A freeze gun locked enemies in a block of ice long enough for the Duke to smash them with a well-placed shot or boot. A shrink ray would turn enemies into vulnerable minature versions of themselves, that again were at the mercy of the Duke's boot (using mirrors, the shrink ray could also be used on the Duke himself to complete objectives that required a shorter stature).
Aside from weapons, the Duke's inventory also included a series of items that could be picked up during play. A portable medkit allowed a player to heal themselves when the going got too tough. Steroids sped up player movement making transit through hostile territory easier. Infra-red goggles allowed players to see enemies in the dark. The "HoloDuke" device would project a hologram of the Duke that could be used to distract enemies. Protective boots allowed the player to cross dangerously hot or toxic terrain. Where progress required more aquatic legwork, an aqualung allowed the player to take longer trips away from air. Perhaps most impressively, a jetpack allowed the player to range fully in 3D, often to reach carefully hidden weapons caches or extra health.
An extra "feature" in the game that could be exploited by players was warping (i.e. teleportation from place to place very quickly). This feature would only operate at some very specific locations in the game, and usually only under complex sequences and/or simultaneous moves. Many players particularly liked these warps as they were very difficult to find and because they were able to convey powerful advantage during play. In fact, the warps were nothing more than an unwanted bug in the software, more specificaly in the 3D engine. 3D Realms eventually fixed it in its version 1.5 (also known as the Atomic edition of Duke Nukem 3D). However, for many experienced players the warps contributed a lot to their enjoyment of the game, and many people kept playing with the earlier version v1.3d (in which the warps were allowed), instead of using the v1.5.
The source code to the Duke Nukem 3D executable, which used the Build engine, was released under the GPL in April 2003. However, the game content still remains the sole property of 3D Realms. The game was quickly ported by enthusiasts to modern OSes, including Microsoft Windows and Linux. The warps have been re-enabled in all the ports, which satisfied most of the players. As of today [2004/2005], these ports gave the game a second life in multiplayer games through the Internet and a growing community is still actively playing.
Today, the long-promised sequel, Duke Nukem Forever, is still in production after seven years of development. A 'teaser' video for Duke Nukem Forever was released on the Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project game CD in 2002, again citing the "When It's Done" release date.
This is a list of some of the monsters encountered in the game:
The weakest basic enemy of Duke Nukem 3D. They carry a simple laser pistol that does about 6 points of damage per shot. They can drop pistol clips when they die. Has 30 Hit Points.
A higher form of the Assault Trooper. Additionally carries a Phase Induced Teleportation Device which allows them to teleport behind their enemy. Drops a pistol clip as well. Has 50 Hit Points.
First tough enemy of the game. They are mutated LAPD that carry a shotgun of the same type as Duke, and can kill him in 1 or 2 shots if he is caught without armor. They also like to duck down to shoot, or leap forward at you. They are only found in the Los Angeles sections of the game. Has 100 Hit Points.
Recon Patrol Vehicle
Pigcops tend to navigate large open areas with these flying machines. They have laser cannons on the side, and when destroyed, it will fall to the ground and eject the piloting Pigcop inside to attack Duke. Has 50 Hit Points.
Another powerful toy for the Pigcops to play with. They are heavily armored, and somewhat speedy. They have a 6-barrelled machine gun, 3 barrels on each side, a mortar launcher on the top port, and sometimes shoot lasers. Sometimes when destroyed the Pigcop survives and comes at you through the wreckage. Additionally, if you get behind one, you can hit the auto-destruct button on the back of the tank to destroy it, usually killing the Pigcop inside. Has 500 Hit Points. Plutonium Pak/Atomic Edition only Monster.
Triclopic, and able to move in both the air and the sea with equal speed, the Octabrain can catch unweary foes off guard with it's movements. They can bite with their mandibles at close range, or fire a devastating mind blast that makes an odd, echoing noise as it travels through the air. A good RPG round can usually kill them cleanly. Has 175 Hit Points.
The weakest enemy in the game, but also one of the hardest to hit. The Protozoid will try to latch onto your face to suck your brains out through your nose, slowly killing you. One hit of anything will kill it though. They tend to emerge from eggs found throughout the game often. As well as attacking you, they also eat any corpses they encounter. Has 1 Hit Point.
As strong as Pigcop, but able to jump high distances, you will see them more often than not jumping up to intercept you, such as in Episode 3's first level. They carry a Chaingun cannon and won't hestiate to fill you with holes if they get the chance. Has 100 Hit Points.
Programmed metal pods meant to come make your life miserable. They carry no weapons, but they have impressive movement AI, dodging pretty much any and all projectile attacks shot at it, and it will attempt to smash into you, kamikazing itself on you upon impact, and doing severe damage. Has 150 Hit Points.
One of the most disturbing aliens you meet in the game, these fat and rotund aliens fly on a anti-gravity deck which they are attached too. They can spin in your face, slashing you with the spikes on the spin deck, or they can shoot rockets out of what is believed to be their nether regions at you that do similar damage to your own RPG missiles. Has 350 Hit Points.
The spawn of the Alien Queen boss of Episode 4, they also appear in levels prior to your showdown with the queen. They can jump as high or higher than the Enforcers, have a nasty and quick slashing attack, and can shoot Shrinker Rays to turn you little if you don't have Steroids on. They are vicious adversaries. Has 300 Hit Points. Plutonium Pak/Atomic Edition only Monster.
Boss of Episode 1. Also a miniboss that appears throughout Episodes 2-4 in a smaller, weaker form as well. They carry a special chaingun-cannon that also has an underside mortar launcher. The large ones can also kill you by just walking up against you. 1000 Hit Points for small versions, 4500 Hit Points for Boss versions.
Boss of Episode 2. They carry a twin missile launcher on their backs, and shoot in twos, relentlessly until you get out of their sight. They are not easily dealt with in large open areas. 4500 Hit Points for Boss versions. For using small versions, the editor must edit the CON files to give them health, else they have only 1 Hit Point.
Boss of Episode 3. One-eyed, huge, and pissed off, this alien leader carries a twin devastator cannon in each of his clawed hands, and he can shoot a swath of the Octabrain's mindblasts as his breath. Fought on a football field in which he is known as "Bad Ass". 4500 Hit Points for Boss versions. For using small versions, the editor must edit the CON files to give them health, else they have only 1 Hit Point. Another note is the original Boss versions do not seem to move out of their starting place on other maps except E3L9.
Boss of Episode 4. Aquatic, one-eyed and newly born, the queen alien is their new hope of restarting the invasion, and she will do her damndest to defend herself and her spawn from you. The entire battle is fought underwater, where she can discharge electrical pulses off her body and through the water to hurt you consistantly. She can also hatch Protector Drones to assist her during the battle. 6000 Hit Points for Boss versions. Plutonium Pak/Atomic Edition only Boss.
Fans may have happy memories of Duke Nukem 3D's network gaming maps. In particular, fort was the pick of the community maps especially for 2 or 4 player mode. The game can be played in co-operative mode, a feature ever less frequent in newer first-person shooter games.
The game has been heavily criticized by some feminists, who allege that it promotes pornography and murder. Media Watch wrote that:
- "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 Duke Nukem 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, such critique appears to selectively use facts (Duke also goes to an alien space station, prison, underwater cities, deserts, fire stations, etc. -- the "Red Light District" is just one level out of almost thirty), or even invent them (there are no bonus points for murder of the women; killing a stripper actually summons alien police, it is not encouraged), or take them out of context (an erotic poster hides a destroyable wall in one level; bound women infested with parasites is a homage to the movie Aliens, not an allusion to BDSM), to further political agendas.
George Broussard, the president of 3D Realms, defends the game, noting its success and arguing that consumers obviously do not find the content abusive or immoral. However, success with some consumers is clearly not evidence that all consumers find a particular product acceptable. Significantly, the only women that appear in the game are either strippers, prostitutes, cheerleaders or alien prisoners. Consequently, while the game's treatment of women (which is extreme even by the standards of video games) could be viewed as an ironic, over-the-top send-up of Hollywood action-film stereotypes, it is easy to see why it causes offence (even if this was never intended by the developers).
- Official Duke Nukem 3D homepage
- Planet Duke (GameSpy)
- Icculus.org Duke3D Port
- JonoF's Duke Nukem 3D Port (JFDuke3D)
- Category at ODP
- Polaris Map Central -- Many files and resources
What you actually really need to play Duke Nukem 3D in multiplayers through the Internet on a PC with Windows XP:
- Duke3d_w32 Windows Port
- Internet Client/Server -- Used to play multiplayer games on the internet through the Rancidmeat and Jonof ports under Windows XP.
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