Discover Duke Nukem's Forgotten Boob-Free Roots

Discover Duke Nukem's Forgotten Boob-Free Roots

The first part of a Duke Nukem retrospective reveals the macho character's tame origin.

Many people may not know this, but Duke Nukem wasn't always the strip club-faring, alien testicle-punching macho man he is today. Part one of a Duke Nukem video retrospective called "History of a Legend" delves into the character as he was before Gearbox's upcoming Duke Nukem Forever.

Duke Nukem's first appearance was in the self-titled Duke Nukem, a 2D sidescroller released by Apogee Software (which later became 3D Realms) in 1991. 3D Realms co-founder and CEO Scott Miller says it was a "huge hit," despite sound effects that are maddening today. Duke's goal wasn't to save the world's babes, but to stop the evil Dr. Proton from taking over the world. It looked like this:

Would you ever have thought Duke would be caught wearing pink? The series moved a little closer to what it is today with Duke Nukem II in 1993, another sidescroller that introduced aliens called Rigelatins as the main foe. The video reveals that Duke's voice got its start in Duke Nukem II, though Jon St. John didn't become the voice of Duke until Duke Nukem 3D.

It's interesting to see how iteration took Duke from a generic character to the icon he is today. Part 2 of the retrospective will likely cover Duke Nukem 3D, where Duke really hit his stride.

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I'm really starting to wonder if the new devs for the game are just trolling us, what with having pushed back the release to summer. This is still vaporware for me until I see it sitting on the shelf at gamestop.

I remember playing Duke Nukem off of a 5 Inch Floppy Disk...
Haha.

Nostalgiaaaa

I held onto that floppy disk forever in hopes of selling it when DNF came out for big nostalgia bucks. Then my house got flooded and I lost the damn thing.

Of course I've played this.
But was quickly done with the generic play.

Now Duke Nukem 3D was epic ;)
And I got a funny feeling it will stay the best in the series for a looooooooong time (forever?)!

Yvl9921:
Nostalgiaaaa

I held onto that floppy disk forever in hopes of selling it when DNF came out for big nostalgia bucks. Then my house got flooded and I lost the damn thing.

That sucks!
Hope you are back on your feet again (minus one Floppy of course)!

ive never played a duke game. Are they any fun?

I remember playing those back in the day... That day being 4 years ago. Ah, how I love freeware. I always loved Duke 2 the best. Awesome games.

Kenjitsuka:

Yvl9921:
Nostalgiaaaa

I held onto that floppy disk forever in hopes of selling it when DNF came out for big nostalgia bucks. Then my house got flooded and I lost the damn thing.

That sucks!
Hope you are back on your feet again (minus one Floppy of course)!

Lost a lot more than that, and it was a while ago. Thanks for your concern though, complete stranger o.o

I never played Duke Nukem 3d, but I did play the first Duke Nukem as a kid. It reminded me a lot of Commander Keen and Crystal Caves.

I loved the platformers, still got the discs for them. Fun stuff :D

Your title makes it sound like Duke was a woman, then got a sex change.

Ah, so it wasn't a fabricated memory, Duke Nukem was a side-scoller once. Always wondered what the "real" name of that game was.

The Duke would TOTALLY wear pink cause he's that much of a bad ass

Hey, hey guys. Just a quick question! Something I honestly find very funny. . When you click on the video on the mainpage. REQUIRES AGE. But when you click on the article featuring the EXACT SAME VIDEO. It doesnt? Now why is this?

I imagine pink would be Duke's favorite color.

Think about it.

I remember the old games, they were good fun.

Ohhhh, i remember Duke 2 that was one of the first video games i played, (actually never played Duke 3D) thats still one of my favorite platformers

I remember that. I also remember that when you got near the end of the first one, mine was all corrupted and nonsensical. But fond fond memories.

PS. They would have added boobs back then if they could display more than 128 colors and pixel art I think. Not that stopped others, haha.

Chemical Alia:
I never played Duke Nukem 3d, but I did play the first Duke Nukem as a kid. It reminded me a lot of Commander Keen and Crystal Caves.

All those old side scrollers on the PC were awesome. Commander Keen had that cool overworld map like Mario World. Good times indeed.

wait didn't I just see this vide somewhere else...lol nvm

argh I still need to just finish DN3d

Thanks for the share, guys. Though I still am going nuts here waiting...

Jim Grim:
Your title makes it sound like Duke was a woman, then got a sex change.

Might explain why s/he's pissed at Dr Proton.

I still play the first duke everyone once in a while. Still a pretty good game by today's "standards."

I actually remember playing this at a friends house! I loved it then, and probably still will now.

Thanks for posting the video here too... I accidentally put in the wrong birth date in the article so I got locked out...

I didn't think this was "forgotten" I remember downloading the free first chapter off of BBS systems back in the day. I mean sure, it was a couple of decades ago, but that's hardly ancient history in the information age. :P

In general Duke Nukem's hype at the time was the claim that it was a PC action game that was superior to similar offerings on the SNES and Genesis at the time.

Though I suppose maybe they were hoping it would be forgotten, because in the old games Duke clearly states he watches Oprah. :)

I loved these games growing up, and they're still what i assoicate the name "Duke Nukem" with. Not the later, ultra masculine 3D FPSes.

I remember having Duke Nukem II on floppies.

Back in the early-mid 90s, my folks bought a second hand PC that happened to be crammed with shareware games including Duke Nukem 1 and 2. There's some extreme nostalgia associated with those games.

oh wow this brings back memories of my eight-year old self playing this for hours upon hours on end and running it on DOS! Gotta love that oldschool shareware. I also remember playing Duke Nukem 3D, and how boobs in video games changed the way I looked at the world forever......

mr.mystery:
ive never played a duke game. Are they any fun?

I'd say no they are not.
People like duke nukem for a completely different thing than it was really meant to be.
The difference between doom and duke nukem gameplay wise is that duke nukem had more interaction going on with its levels and also because the multiplayer was boss.

Why does Randy always look like he wants to explode in interviews?

*claps slowly* To the most hyped game of all time

I own and still play the first two games. Don't own and have never played any of the others.

Oh man, DN 1/2 counts somewhere in my top 10 favourite games from the 90s.

Interesting character, and really good sprawling level design. Both of which were kept in DN3D. As long as neither change, I'm relaly looking forward to DNF. About time something retro came out.

Hah! I mentioned the original Duke Nukem just the other day when someone asked me to describe (the gameplay of) Spelunky. Not many 2D platformers offer you upgrades that change the way you can move.

Still remember the game fondly, always had a blast with the Duke. :)

 

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