Five Little Known Facts About Duke Nukem

We know we’re making a rod for our own backs with this article. This website is populated by the most dedicated and devoted Duke Nukem fans on the internet. You know more about Duke Nukem than 99% of the human race. You might even know more about the game than the people who worked on the games (and especially those who worked on ‘Duke Nukem Forever). There are always things that even the experts don’t know, though, and in looking around recently, we believe we’ve hit on a few points that even Duke’s biggest fans aren’t aware of.

This article is going to go one of two ways. Either we’re going to enlighten people with a few pieces of ‘Duke Nukem’ wisdom that they haven’t come across in the past, or we’re going to get ripped apart for writing this article in the discussion threads. We don’t mind either way – we can cope with it if it comes, and at least it gives people something to do! Without further ado, here are five fast facts that most ‘Duke Nukem’ fans don’t know.

The Duke Is A Major

During the early days of Duke Nukem, the character didn’t have much in the way of a backstory other than the idea that he was an average muscle-head brought in by the CIA to be cannon fodder. As is the case with most successful series and franchises, the character was developed over time. In some cases, new additions to Duke’s backstory contradicted information we’d already been given, but that wasn’t the case when a military history was added for Duke in ‘Duke Nukem Zero Hour.’ The character is briefly referred to in passing as a Major during an otherwise meaningless conversation. The idea is further solidified in ‘Duke Nukem Forever,’ where a photo of the character in Desert Storm-era military uniform is shown. Spending years in the military would certainly explain Duke’s foul mouth.

He Loves Vintage Horror Movies

All of us are guilty of occasionally quoting our favorite movies in the middle of real-life conversations from time to time. Duke Nukem (or should we call him ‘Major Nukem’ now?) is no exception. If you’ve played the games repeatedly – which all of us have – you’ll have heard him say ‘hail to the king’ and reference the idea of chewing bubblegum and kicking ass on numerous occasions. As great as both of those lines are, they’re not his – and nor were they written by the people who created the games. The ‘chewing bubblegum and kicking ass’ line was actually first spoken by former professional wrestler ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper in the cult John Carpenter movie ‘They Live.’ As for the ‘hail to the king’ line? That’s from ‘Army of Darkness.’ We’d love to check out Duke’s collection of B-Movie VHS tapes and DVDs some time. We get they’re great.

He Was Supposed To Become A Casino Star

Those of you who’ve played through ‘Duke Nukem Forever’ and still bear the scars might remember that there was a slot machine mini-game in it. Far from being a generic side game and a distraction from the game’s plot, that was supposed to be an Easter Egg heralding the arrival of an online slots game based on the character. The year was 2011, and the idea of online slots websites was beginning to catch on for the very first time. Lara Croft had her first game by then, and so did a few select television shows and movies. The character of Duke Nukem would have been perfect for slot games as he represents a logical bridging point between video gaming and adult entertainment, but it wasn’t to be. The critical and commercial failure of the game (and subsequent death of the franchise) made online slots developers back off, and the concept was never realized.

Duke Nukem 3D Invented In-Game Mirrors

Of all the ways that the Duke Nukem games were likely to make history, we didn’t think it would come to this. ‘Duke Nukem 3D,’ which is arguably still the most enjoyable version of the game to play, made video game graphics history. During the game, Duke can walk past mirrors, and they’ll accurately reflect his appearance and movements in real time. As small an achievement as that might seem by modern standards, back when the game was released in 1996, it had never been done before. We don’t know whether that was down to the fact that mirrors were technically challenging to program or just that nobody had ever felt the need to make one until then, but it means that the game will always hold a unique place in history.

There’s An OJ Simpson Easter Egg In The Same Game

For those of us over a certain age – which is almost everybody who uses this website – the OJ Simpson car chase is one of the most memorable TV moments of all time. It might have happened for all the wrong reasons, but we can all remember watching that car chase and wondering how it was going to end. It’s a moment that’s seared onto America’s national psyche – and it’s been memorialized within ‘Duke Nukem 3D’ in a scene that most players miss. Find the bar in the Red Light District Level, turn to the television inside the bar, and you’ll see footage of a white Bronco tearing down the highway at high speed. Now, who does that remind you of?

These may not be the most earth-shattering facts you’ve ever heard, but we’re hoping there’s at least one piece of information here that you’ve never heard before. The number of people who’ve never heard of the proposed online slots game, in particular, is always surprising. As a pro tip, if you hadn’t heard about the OJ Simpson reference in ‘Duke Nukem 3D’ before, keep your eyes peeled in other seemingly unimportant parts of the game. There are tributes to a whole range of different entertainment properties in there, including a recreation of Captain Picard’s ready room from ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation.’

If you have heard them all before, we congratulate you upon your encyclopedic Duke Nukem knowledge. Thanks for stopping by and reading!