September 19, 2019

“What are ya waiting for, Christmas?” (CV-11)
We’ve danced around the Duke long enough. Doing a “Pro” series on the Holy Trinity in a weird order that no sane person would do. Shadow Warrior first? Who does Shadow Warrior first!? Duke Nukem is a much bigger topic, there’s so much more you guys gotta understand. How did this man get testosterone poisoning? How did he earn his Balls of Steel? Why was his franchise so venerated that people would wait fourteen fucking years for a proper new installment? We need to start at the beginning, when Duke Nukem was a nobody. Just another hero in an Apogee platformer. He could’ve been just another Milo, He could’ve been just another Milo, or Snake Logan, He could’ve been just another Milo, or Snake Logan, or Major Stryker. Who the fuck is Major Stryker…? 😎 (CV-11)
Uhhh, okay?? We’re talking about Duke We’re talking about Duke *Nukum*… …As he was named after Apogee found out about this guy, this guy from Captain Planet named— (“DUKE NUKEM”)
♫ “mY nAmE iS dUkE nUUUU-” ♫ (“DUKE NUKEM”)
♫ “mY nAmE iS dUkE nUUUU-kEm!” ♫ ♫ “i’M a nUcLeAr sHaRRRRRRK!” ♫ ♫ “i’M hOtTer tHaN eLviS,” ♫ ♫ “aNd I gLooooooW iN tHe dArrrrrrK!” ♫ (CV-11)
They changed it to avoid a lawsuit but it wasn’t a registered name so… It seems stupid in retrospect, since who the fuck thinks about this spunk-pincher when you say Duke Nukem? No one. But in 1991, this was widely accepted But in 1991, this was widely accepted among Captain Planet fans…? Who is, Who is, Duke Nukem? He’s a bad dude, served in the army. He was such a total badass that when evil scientist Dr. Proton created an army of Tech-Bots to destroy mankind, the CIA called him, to take care of it all on his own. Duke Nukem 1 is… primitive. It’s jumping, and shooting… It’s jumping, and shooting… and PC speaker noises… [PC SPEAKER NOISES BLARING]
Agh, God! It’s all we had back then. (chuckling) Listen to his walk, listen, listen to his…! [DUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUN] I didn’t care, I was like 3-years old when this game came out. Duke used to look a little different, y’know. You can see the purple in there. This is what he looks like on the box for Duke Nukem— Oh my God! It looks like Rob Liefeld drew the end of “Akira!” And also some of my nightmares. That is NOT what arms are supposed to look like! …Get that shit away from me— How about some story? We got a story, I don’t know what you’re talking about. (doing a voice, synthesized effect)
“So you’re the pitiful hero they sent to stop me.” “I, Dr. Proton, will soon rule the world!” (doing Duke’s voice)
“You’re wrong Proton Br—” (doing Duke’s voice)
“You’re wrong Proton Br—” (bursts into laughter) (aside) Stupid fucking name, okay— “I’ll be done with you and still have time to watch Oprah!” Duke is actually a sensitive man. He loves guns, babes, He loves guns, babes, and Oprah. You don’t see many babes in this game. Or any babes. Or Oprah. And you only see one gun that can be upgraded to fire up to five blasts on screen at once. So it’s June 1991 and Duke Nukem comes out, with an engine programmed by Todd Replogle with of course help from sentient galaxy-brain meme John Carmack. I would really like to stop talking about John Carmack, I think these jokes are a net negative on the show… Replogle is also credited as a designer along with Scott Miller and Alan Blum, two names that are going to show a lot in the future. Our old friend Jim Norwood is credited as an artist along with George Broussard. Man, these were the good ol’ days where a few guys could get together and make a game and episodic gaming actually worked. I give a lot credit to id Software on this channel, but Apogee? They were there, too. And Duke Nukem is way better than Commander Keen. And y’know what? Blake Stone is better than Wolfenstein 3D! So Duke Nukem fights through a robot army on Earth in Shrapnel City. (Remember that name for later.) Then on the moon in the second episode, that’s… also oddly familiar. And then Dr. Proton escapes to the future because Duke Nukem kicked his ass so hard, that he needed to go into temporal witness-protection. Look at the backgrounds in these levels. These are proof that Proton couldn’t handle his world-destroying shit in the present so he went to the future to escape Duke Nukem, who just followed him. It’s like a reverse-Terminator timeline. Duke kills ‘im, takes his time machine back to the present-future of 1997 and is now Earth’s mightiest hero. So Duke Nukem sold likes sixty- or seventy-thousand copies, pretty good for the early PC market. So you got to make a sequel to this quaint DOS platformer. Where do you go from there? [♫ Duke Nukem II OST – He’s Back! ♫] (DUKE NUKEM)
“I AM BACK!” (CV-11)
Duke Nukem II! Get rekt! Go big or go home! You thought Duke Nukem was a badass? Get a load of Duke Nukem II! This game kicks ass. You’re running around, everything’s exploding, you got fucking lasers and rockets and a flamethrower that you can fly with, aliens and Terminators and earthquakes, aliens and Terminators and earthquakes, and Bobby Prince almost plagiarizing Megadeth. But just look at this! Holy fuck, this is awesome! You can pick up a copy of these bonafide classic games on Steam for… You can pick up a copy of these bonafide classic games on Steam for… no, you can’t. Thanks Randy, Thanks Randy, you barely-legal-squirty-magic-trick-on-a-USB-drive-in-medieval-times, profiteer-off-the-backs-of-hardworking-gamedevs, not-noticing-ten-grand-off-your-credit-card, lyin’, low-rent party-magician Penn-Jillete-fellatin’, backstabbin’, mall-narcin’, Sega-cheatin’— (RANDY BITCHFORD)
I love a good joke! I mean, for fuck’s sake, I own the Duke Nukem franchise! (CV-11)
I H͢OPE ́GÀB̛EN E͏A͘TS Y̶O͢ŲR ̕S̕OUL ͜FO̡R̀ ̛Y̢OU̵R T͘REA͏C̸HE͝R͏Y̸ Duke Nukem II starts with the Duke goin’ missing when aliens kidnap him from the set of an interview where he’s pluggin’ his book, “Why I’m So Great.” The Rigelatins, right, they want to steal his brain and plug it into their war-computer because Duke Nukem’s brain would single-handedly win a war against humanity. (DUKE NUKEM)
“BAZINGA!” (CV-11, doubtful)
…Sure. He gets tossed in a cell but he has an exploding molar in his mouth, blows the door open, grabs a gun, and just starts wrecking shit. Duke Nukem II, in terms of side-scrolling action gaming on the PC, I think is unmatched. It’s so big, so explosive, so over-the-top and insane with all this shit flying around. God damn it, it’s a rush! Not fast enough? Turn the game speed up! That’s a thing you can do. So of course, Duke Nukem crushes the alien menance, jumps into a ship, and returns to Earth. And our feature presentation, Duke Nukem 3D, takes place directly after this. (reading, doing Duke’s voice)
“A babe, a stogie, and a bottle of jack.” “That’s what I need right now.” “And no more freakin’ aliens.” Just then, a white-hot plasmatic blast punched through the hull of his cruiser. Klaxons flared, warning lights flashed, and static filled his monitors. He flipped on his comm: “Hey, anybody out there? I got a little probl-” “Hey, anybody out there? I got a little probl-uhhhhhh…” “Mayday! Mayday!” the radio replied. “Los Angeles is under attack! There are aliens everywhere,” “and they’ve mutated the LAPD! Is anyone there? We need help!” “Great, what’s the problem with all these aliens attacking Earth anyway?” “How many alien races have to get their asses kicked?” “grr, argh, I’m gonna get medieval on your asses,” “tonight.” Right then, you’re dropped into “Hollywood Holocaust,” and straight into one of the greatest and most legendary action games ever created. Shadow Warrior was a little more advanced, Blood was, on the whole, a better experience, but both those games had to stand on the shoulders of Duke Nukem 3D to be as good as they were. It’s finally time to “Pro” this shit! Time to kick ass and chew bubblegum at the same time! For this playthrough, we’re going to be using the Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour— Nah, I’m kidding! We’re using eDuke. Fuck off, Randy. Before Duke became a punchline, Before Duke became a punchline, before Duke Nukem Forever was vaporware, Duke was king of the world! And this game is why. We’ve never seen anything like this before, we weren’t prepared. You were Schwarzenegger, you were Stallone, you were the baddest motherfucker alive! We’re playing on “Come Get Some.” Not “Damn I’m Good,” fuck playing on “Damn I’m Good” because it’s just “Come Get Some,” except you have to blow up enemy corpses to make sure they don’t come back. And that’s not fun, that’s bullshit ‘n a joke and we’re here to have fun, right? (DUKE NUKEM)
“Yeah, piece of cake.” (CV-11)
It’s why I didn’t play Doom on “Nightmare” or Blood on “Extra Crispy.” “Hollywood Holocaust” tells you everything you need to know about Duke Nukem 3D’s gameplay in one concise, badass, explosive level. First thing you do… I mean, you don’t have to shoot these explosive barrels first but it’s good to know how those work. Explosions, the screen shakes, you jump down through the vent, and you’re in the streets. Within a minute, you’ve killed aliens, you’ve picked up a secret rocket launcher, (you get a rocket launcher in this game before you get a shotgun,) you get steroids which I don’t really use because honestly they make the player go too fast in my opinion but they’re there, you can use ’em. Good for speedrunners. Let me just turn on crosshair, for this precise shot to blow a hole into this wall to create another entrance into this building instead of going in the rookie way: through the theater exit. Ha, bullshit! Go home, casuals. This game may have been 2.5D, but we couldn’t tell. There’s tricks in the Build Engine to make it seem like you occupy actual 3D space. Teleports on spiral staircases and elevators, all that jazz. First aliens you meet are the disposable Assault Troopers, who’re easily picked off with four or five well-placed pistol shots. The pistol in this game has the fire rate of a submachine gun in other games, reloads every twelve shots, and is the only reloading weapon in the game which… yeah okay whatever. The Assault Troopers fly around and shoot energy beams at ‘cha and when they’re killed they drop pistol ammo for… some reason, I never got that. Assault Captains are slightly stronger and can teleport around, leading to what is probably the best feeling in this entire game, which is shootin’ one, which is shootin’ one, killing it, which is shootin’ one, killing it, having it teleport away, and then it comes back and dies. Pig Cops are the aforementioned mutated LAPD officers now emblazoned with L-A-*R*-D… get it? …Listen, I got nothin’ against the fuckin’ pigs. I was lucky enough to pick up a shotgun from a Pig Cop early on. Here’s the Pig Cop dance: shoot ‘im, duck behind cover to avoid his absolutely devastating shotgun blast, nail him twice, maybe get a little ammo or some armor out of it. Aside from them, there are gun turrets which are annoying. I usually just fire a rocket in their direction and let the splash damage do the rest. Entering this shockingly high-class porno theater— yeah, it’s a porno theater because Duke Nukem 3D is… well, it’s a little seedy. It’s kind of fun. It’s not weird like in later Duke games because while you’re not directly saving the babes like in Manhattan Project— (RANDOM BABE)
“I’m all yours, Duke~.” (DUKE NUKEM)
“Sorry honey, I got some ass-kicking to do first!” (CV-11)
Don’t shoot them. Don’t do it. They tell you to— (ABDUCTED BABE)
“Kill… me…” (CV-11)
Which is weird, and the implications are… Not Good™. But don’t kill them. I accidentally killed one later, and what happens is that if you do that, more enemies teleport in to kill you. So to be to Duke Nukem, the game outright punishes you for violence against women. So 3D Realms, formerly Apogee; “3D Realms: Reality is Our Game—” Well, it’s not exactly realistic. That’s not to say that level interactivity in Duke Nukem 3D wasn’t revolutionary. Even if early on doors would fucking kill you. (DUKE NUKEM)
“Eugh, this sucks…” (CV-11)
This did happen in earlier versions of Duke 3D, but to simulate it I just used Megaton Edition… It took me longer to find one in the the 1.3 version that I got off the CD from 1996! (GORDON RAMSAY)
“FUCKIN’ RAW!” (CV-11)
Blow holes in walls, activate secret switches. See this cash register at the concession stand? It opens a secret with armor; it doesn’t open and give you money, you don’t need money. Duke Nukem has an endless supply of cash for strippers. Here’s one you’re probably more familiar with. (DUKE NUKEM)
“Hmm, don’t have time to play with myself.” (CV-11)
Get yourself a Holoduke to distract enemies. Another thing I barely use and in fact I only use when I press ‘H’ instead of ‘J’ on the keyboard for the Jetpack. Ah yes, the Jetpack. We’ll get to how that breaks the game more in Episode Two. But for now, use that Jetpack to go to the highest point of the level near the exit, blast the turrets, get yourself a full Jetpack again, save it by jumping down and at the last second activate it to not die and save fuel. There’s a secret where you can get all of Episode One’s weapons in this apartment. Now remember, this is 1996 and being able to describe anything in a first-person shooter as something that could possibly resemble something in real life— apartments, movie theaters, strip clubs— nuh-huh, no way. Go back and look at the city levels in Doom II or better yet, go look at the city levels in TekWar. This was completely new! You could hit light switches, you could use toilets, you could drink water from broken toilets and fire hydrants for health, you could crawl through vents to bypass the main route in the level. Seemed like the possibilities were endless. Blow up this entire arcade. And this is probably the player’s first exposure to blowing a giant hole in the level that leads to an earlier area, opening the map up just a little bit more. It’s just incomprehensible how much of a step up this was. Quake went full 3D and Duke went full interactive, I’m gonna say that both were equally responsible for paving the way for Half-Life. Can I just mention that nearly every time Duke Nukem leaves a level, he blows the fucker up? (DUKE NUKEM)
“Let’s rock!” (CV-11)
So that level was totally badass, how can you top that? Yeah that works. When your first level has a porn theater, you gotta go for a pornographic book store next, right? And then a strip club? You might not remember these things, these were bookstores. They used to sell books, which we used to get from trees and human skin in certain circumstances. It’s not important. You’ll get introduced to the Recon Patrol Vehicles. You can rocket them if they get close enough and stop to shoot ya, otherwise I just hit ’em with a few shotgun blasts. The Pig Cop survives this! Knowing these levels well enough can turn you into a stone-cold murder machine. There’s probably something around that corner, and since hitscanners in this game aren’t nearly as evil as the ones in Shadow Warrior or Blood …until later… you usually have a decent window to kill ’em. Sometimes the Pig Cops are crouched and waiting for you just to come right into view. Eugh, that’s no good… A Pipe Bomb can usually take care of them if it’s close enough. Out of Pipe Bombs? That’s okay! This store carries them, just in a secret behind a bookshelf. And in one of those private rooms, there’s a rocket launcher. Why not. Don’t save your rockets, don’t save ’em, use ’em all. Especially when you get into the bar and these fucking Pig Cops try to ambush ya. Kill ’em, then greet this fine lady of the night. I assume she’s a prostitute, otherwise Duke is handing money over to some random woman in a bar. If she’s not a prostitute that only works sometimes… (DUKE NUKEM)
“You wanna dance?” “Shake it baby!” “Shake it baby!” x2 “Shake it baby!” x3 (BUBBLES)
“God, that’s greasy!” (CV-11)
There’s a secret in the bathroom with all this neat stuff in it. And also the Octabrain. They make awful, awful noises when you shoot them, as if they actually are psychically torturing you with their own pain. [Octabrain making awful, awful noises] Rockets are great for ’em, because then they only make this sound: [Octabrain whimper] When you get a Devastator in the next episode it’s even better, trust me. Their attacks do a ton of damage but can be easily avoided and disintegrate after a certain range. By now, you’ll have your Chaingun Cannon, another fine weapon that kicks ass. Sometimes it’s called the Ripper; the pickup message calls it the Chaingun Cannon but in the manual it’s called the Ripper. Not the best for larger enemies, cuts down smaller ones with three barrels of belt-fed destruction. Not to downplay the shotgun, it’s fine. Decently powerful, little bland for the time, satisfying to use. Nowhere near the buckshot perfection of Doom II’s Super Shotgun Nowhere near the buckshot perfection of Doom II’s Super Shotgun or Blood’s shotgun Nowhere near the buckshot perfection of Doom II’s Super Shotgun or Blood’s shotgun or Shadow Warrior’s Riot Gun. It’s good, though! It does the job. ‘Game like Blood or Shadow Warrior is closer to a John Woo action movie whereas Duke Nukem is more like “Commando.” You’re a walking slab of meat with enormous weapons. Kill ’em all, they’re stealing our chicks! Duke’s… *ahem* “character” Is another thing you didn’t see a lot of in FPS games. He talked, albeit in shit 8-bit samples of Jon St. John grittin’ his teeth and doing a deeper Dirty Harry impression, stealing one-liners from “Evil Dead,” “Aliens,” and Duke’s closest physical analogue: Roddy Piper from “They Live,” sunglasses and all. (“NADA”)
“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass…” “And I’m all out of bubblegum.” (CV-11)
Don’t take that as a knock against Jon St. John. He seems like a nice man and he does good work. Duke’s sunglasses don’t reveal secret messages, though. You need the night-vision goggles for that. So I’m using up all my rockets because I’m about to lose them. At the end of the second map, the aliens capture you behind masked textures which might as well be walls made of diamonds. (PIG COP)
“Gotcha bitch! We’re gonna fry yer ass!” (CV-11)
Now on “Death Row,” Duke makes no escape attempts before being put into the electric chair. That’s fair, ya gotta kick a Pig Cop to death… There’s another on the way, grab a pistol and waste ‘im. Hit this button one on the left first. Kill everything! Grab another Medkit and Holoduke. I wasted too much ammo here. Whatever. The chapel is full of aliens and a dead monk from Rise of the Triad. Armor, health, secrets everywhere. Behind the unholy stained glass there’s an Octabrain and of course… (DUKE NUKEM)
“Hmm, that’s one *doomed* space marine.” (CV-11)
In a lesser game, this would be arrogance. But this game blew Doom out of the water in ’96! Later on in the game, you’ll be able to pick up Laser Tripbombs. For now, you have to settle for blowing ’em up with Pipe Bombs. I don’t use them anyway, I prefer a more direct approach. I just want to explain the progression of this level, just to demonstrate how insane all of this sounds. Not only compared to a Doom level, but compared to the progression of a modern shooter level. You start off in an electric chair, you break out of death row, you grab your guns, you dodge an elaborate laser trap. Escape through a tunnel in one of the cells, blow up cave walls to get into the sewer— Hijack a submarine, exit the level. All of that is awesome. And Duke Nukem 3D is full of levels like this! Now that the game has really kicked into gear, each level transitions into the next one smoothly. In “Toxic Dump,” you start off in the sub. When you leave “Toxic Dump” to go to the secret level, “Launch Facility,” that’s… When you leave “Toxic Dump” to go to the secret level, “Launch Facility,” that’s… not quite right. But when you leave “Launch Facility,” it’s just a smooth a transition into “The Abyss,” with this runoff tunnel here. *Technically* not a sewer, just toxic waste runoff. This one is… okay, it introduces more crazy shit no one had ever thought to do in an FPS game before, not even including a crane that picks you up. You get shrunk to travel through small spaces , another thing you’ll be able to do to the enemies later in Episode Two. Don’t get caught in the small space afterwards because the Build Engine’ll just kill you. You’ll get the Shrink Ray in the next episode. But not a laser gun like the shareware version promises, that’s a fucking lie. So then you’re in the water, rocketing Octabrains, dodging underwater mines, blowing holes in the wall to find the secret level. Find it, it’s cool, it’s fun. Mostly for this. “The Abyss,” for the most part, is the weakest level in the first episode. It’s a little awkward. Sorry, Levelord… It’s not a bad level, it’s just gets marred down in caves and Octabrains and weird puzzles… And you can skip huge parts of it with the Jetpack. Going through where you have to hit this switch and then you stand here to make this huge explosion happen and get shrunk. I like the secrets here honestly, like this one. I don’t know what’s happening here but it’s cool. (DUKE NUKEM)
“Holy shit!” (CV-11)
You’ll be running low on Jetpack fuel by the end of this level if you’re going through and finding the secrets, which is too bad because you need for this cool shit right here. This is a crashed alien spaceship where your first boss battle takes place. There’s a beautiful, otherworldly design with the lighting and the textures and the layout of the ship. The Battlelord, Episode One’s boss, is the hardest in the game ’cause he fuckin’ hitscans. If you’re “lucky,” he spams you with these grenades. Otherwise it’s a giant chaingun. And you see how much damage he’s doing; I have to use the Medkit in the middle. This is still way easier than Blood or Shadow Warrior. So easy in fact that this is gonna be a zero-death Episode One run. (BATTLELORD)
“Who the hell are you…?” (DUKE NUKEM)
“I’m Duke Nukem, and I’m comin’ to get the rest of you alien bastards.” (CV-11)
And he is. Because they’re after the women…! Pretty dark and fucked up, but it’s not like in DNF where they actually show it, no that’s… “But wait, Civvie! What about—” “‘Faces of Death?'” If I’m gonna talk about Episode One, I have to talk about the super-secret warp-only— (…until World Tour…) hard-ass ball-breaking map, “Faces of Death.” (I didn’t forget about this one either…) There’s a way to access it from “The Abyss” if you cheat and then go through “Launch Facility” again and then go through “The Abyss” again… We’re not doing that, I’m just gonna warp. It’s got all the devs’ faces on it, see th-the faces… Oh… Oh… Hello, Randy. :/ Originally just a deathmatch level, there’s all these Mini Battlelords in it and it’s much, much harder than probably any other level in the game! Luckily, there’s a few things to help you out. Armor and health on the center platform, access to all the weapons, and if you get Battlelords in the right spot, you can send rockets through the teleporter at them. I ended up weakening most of the Battlelords and then just shrinking them. There’s no exit to this level so that’s the end. Next stop: the final frontier. (DUKE NUKEM)
“Nobody steals our chicks… and lives.”

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