Old-Fashioned Misogyny: Duke 3D on GoG

By Alec Meer on February 26th, 2009 at 5:41 pm.

It’s always fun to hear about what new retro sweetmeat has found its way to Good Old Games‘ DRM-free servers – to sigh and think of times gone by, to think of how silly our hair was in 1995 and to wonder whether the Manic Street Preachers would be any good today if Richie hadn’t gone missing.

Today, it’s the turn of Duke Nukem 3D, along with a host of other old Apogee stuff. It’s almost odd to think of people paying hard cash for Duke 3D these days – so many FPSes of that era simply haven’t aged as well as their less graphics-reliant strategy, RPG and adventure contemporaries. Of course, Duke earned some 21st century stripes last year, with the well-received XBLA port, so it’s nice to see him back on his original home too.

D3D was one of those games that personally passed me by entirely – I spent a few years without a decent gaming PC, years which encompassed this. So I have no strong feelings about it whatsoever. I know full well what it is and its place in PC history, but it’s more like a museum piece to me. I played it through a few years after its release, and it seemed too crude in both technology and wit for my snooty liking. Yet I’ve got friends for whom it’s an essential part of their growing-up, one they’ll forever be as fond of as I am of X-COM or Doom 2. I’m too far on from it to ever be able to appreciate their enthusiasm, which I find curiously saddening. What about you lot? Regardless of that nasty Duke Nukem Forever business, is Duke a figure of legend for you?

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67 Comments »

  1. Freelancepolice says:

    I loved duke :*(

  2. rob says:

    Blake Stone! Rise of the Triad!! My surrogate parents are on GoG!

  3. Piispa says:

    It’s time to kick ass and chew bubblegum.. and I’m all outta gum!

  4. Cian says:

    This is probably heresy, but the Duke eclipsed Doom II in my eight year old mind. Perhaps it was already having his posturing machismo imprinted at an even more tender age by the platform game. Or maybe I just really loved jetpacks.

  5. Xercies says:

    I remember Duke Nukhum 3D as this mysterious game that i was never allowed to play so in my mind its the best game ever made. I don’t want to play it to find out though it might really dissapoint me.

    I spent my childhood playing Quake 2 myself.

  6. BooleanBob says:

    Duke taught me what the other kids at school were learning from their older brothers, FHM and their dads’ porn stashes. Namely, what women carried under their tops. It was also the first media-carried message I was exposed to that painted the police in a negative light. In addition, it was the first videogame I played to feature swearing, drugs and gibbing; my first exposure to a red light district, simulated or real. It felt like a hot package of sin beamed directly into my brain. It was crass, yes. Almost horribly so (the ‘mercy-killing’ of female captives was physically sickening – I’ve never known why 3DR felt that was necessary). But at the same time, this was a game pitched at adults, not kids. At the stage of my life when I had one foot in either camp, it was a significant part of my wider transgressions into adolescence, along with heavy metal, staying out late, being mardy to my folks, underage drinking and furtive investigation into internet pornography (dial-up speeds ensuring that every jpeg was worth its filesize in gold).

    So yeah, Duke was very much a figure of legend to me. He was two kinds of exotic other – an invincible, gun-toting Saturday morning action figure of childish fantasy and a symbol of all this crazy stuff adults didn’t want you to know about – wanted to keep to (and for) themselves. And – crucially – it was a damn fun game as well.

    Although for a few months I did carry around some strange misconceptions about the anatomical status of nipple tassels as a combinate result of the low-res character sprites and Apogee’s belated, gestural self-censoring.

  7. Og says:

    Has anyone bought this ? Can it be played from the get go with proper mouse control ? I remember ages ago fiddling to hell with trying to get it to work and it was near impossible.

  8. MetalCircus says:

    I used to go to a friends house just to play Duke. Couldn’t give a toss about him, I was just using him to play some duke!

    Duke 3D is awesome. Play Duke 3D you pussies!

  9. cyrenic says:

    Still holding out that we’ll get to see the old LucasArts games on GoG. We’d get the adventure games and the space sims, a veritable holy grail of old school gaming.

  10. Chandrose says:

    @Og
    The way I understand GoG’s mantra, they do all that dicking around for you. So while I haven’t tried it myself, I doubt they would put it on the site if you had to fiddle with it.

    I missed Duke3D on the PC, I didn’t get a taste until the watered down Nintendo 64 ‘PG’ version came out a few years later. Although I don’t think I’ll ever forget shrinking and proceeding to mushify my friends under my size 12 Duke boots in multi-player, the single-player doesn’t seem to have left many memories. Except for those pig-cops, pig-cops were awesome.

  11. Patrick says:

    @Og and @Chandrose
    I am a huge fan of GoG and have purchased many games off of their website. They do take much of the fiddling out of the equation but not all of it. They modify the install package so that it will install to an XP/Vista machine. They do not guarantee that it will work at modern resolutions or with modern conveniences like a mouse.

    Several games I bought of GoG I have fiddled with for instance Fallout and Fallout 2 I installed the High Res mods and Freespace 2 the open source upgrades. The good news is that GoG has a very robust community and someone else is probably wrestling with the same problem as you. For instance look at the link below (your exact question is asked). Eventually someone else usually comes up with a (relatively) easy way to fix it.

    http://www.gog.com/en/forum/duke_nukem_series/__/1235673472/

  12. Theory says:

    If you’re running Vista with UAC, you’ll need to run the program as an admin. There’s an option for it in the compatibility tab.

    What I want to know is why they aren’t shipping it with EDuke and the High Resolution Pack.

  13. Chis says:

    I remember enjoying Duke at the time, but Blood was and is far superior. More creative and consistent level design, and more enjoyable weaponry and sense of humour. Kicking heads around and blowing stuff up with TNT STILL makes me curl up, the sheer cheesiness of the screams and graphics. The mad monks chattering away, muttering vaguely pythonesque taunts. I hope it makes its way to GoG soon, too. (Perhaps also Shadow Warrior?)

  14. catska says:

    Does this have all the upgrades that the Xbox Live Arcade release of Duke3d had some months back?

  15. Gexecuter says:

    @catska

    unfortunately the game doesn’t have any of the Xbox live arcade improvements since it’s the original version.

  16. Scandalon says:

    Never got to D3D until it was too late. Besides, Doom/Doom2 were so much better. :P Chis is right though, Blood was great fun, esp. in multiplayer. “It burns! It burns!”

  17. toni says:

    yes, it’s part of my “childhood” in gaming.
    learned some good profanity to round out my english language skills and enjoyed blasting pigs and using the jetpack the most. with the duke HighDef Pack the game doesn’t even look THAT bad. it may be a crude piece of entertainment but it gives you all you need an more (scuba gear, jetpack, pipebombs, holoduke), which cannot be said of some current games.

  18. N says:

    Not to mention Caleb pwnd Duke…

  19. Mil says:

    Misogyny? As far as I remember, all the monsters you shoot appear to be male (or sexless).

  20. Alex says:

    What are you, some kind of bottom dwelling, scum sucking algae eater?

  21. Igor Hardy says:

    I had a lot of fun with Duke, although I still keep preferring Doom. Other bitmapy 3D shooters I am really fond of are Outlaws and Dark Forces.

    On the other hand I never could get into Blood or Redneck Rampage and Shadow Warrior was fun for a while, but became boring fast.

  22. Nuyan says:

    Never even completed the first level to be honest. Couldn’t get the version I had to run when I was young.

    I did play around with the Duke a lot in Death Rally though. I totally loved that game.

  23. Still annoyed says:

    I bought it. You can use mouselook, but it’s pretty primitive. Still, fun game, and playing it again made me realize how cool the level design really is. The levels are surprisingly well made, better than in many new shooters.

  24. Tei says:

    @N

    hehe.. on youtube theres a video of the doom marine killing duke, duke killing the doom marine, cale killing the doom marine, and the doom marine having a affair with a imp in a tropical island (?).
    people is crazy

  25. Bidermaier says:

    I have discovered than pressing “U” actives the mouse aim mode, so it works like a normal shooter. With that and a bit of remaping work the game should work pretty much like a modern FPS.

  26. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    guess I will buy D3D for the third time, as I have never played the expansion :)

  27. wyrmsine says:

    I remember the multiplayer being fantastic. The pipebombs, shrink-gun and holoduke contributed to a shocking level of deviousness missing from everything else I could LAN at the time.

  28. Noc says:

    I was very little when I played this, so a great portion of the adultly themes sailed blissfully over my fuzzy little head.

    On the other hand, I was impressed and astounded by the fact that the game’s environments looked like real places, when my only previous exposure to 3D spaces in games had been the vague brown corridors of Doom and Quake.

  29. karthik says:

    I played this about the same time I played Blood and Hexen (and this obscure little FPS called Chasm, I think)- and I was too young to play any of them. This was before I knew the Internet existed, and my only remaining memory of Duke3D is that it was a very hard game, more so than Blood.

    And the shrink gun. More games need shrink guns. Dark Messiah is the only game in the past few years that incorporated a shrink gun(spell).

  30. Big D says:

    I was 16 when dude was out, it was the game that made me a PC Gamer and to this day I still am and I don’t own a console system! I’m a PC PURE BLOOD! :)

    Duke just blew me away, I really want DNF to be great, but i fear for it…

  31. ChaosSmurf says:

    What nasty Duke Nukem Forever business?! It’s coming this year, haven’t you heard?!

  32. Big D says:

    DUKE rather! :P

  33. ascagnel says:

    DN3D is still awesome, but nothing beats The Duke List: http://duke.a-13.net/

    Fun fact:

    While DNF has been in production, Blizzard Entertainment, another studio famous for delays, has released four full games(Starcraft, Diablo 2, Warcraft 3, and World of Warcraft), with expansions for all of them.

  34. MrFake says:

    Even as a kid I was fond of the level design. At the time, I had been playing Doom 2 non-stop, and actually shooting things up in what looked and felt almost like a real place was more fun than blood, gore, and nipples (combined? no that’s not fun at all). Quake came soon after, and it failed in my eyes just because of the poor design. That era in gaming needed something like D3D to temper the FPS craze, though it certainly did not age well, maybe because of its focus on design and not playability.

    The irreverence did make multiplayer so much more … quote-worthy, especially for us teenagers. Other than that, multiplayer was easily superseded by Quake.

    Aw, fudgenutters, I see Noc said the same thing I did. Ah well, Opinion away!

  35. Optimaximal says:

    (and this obscure little FPS called Chasm, I think)

    Chasm will fondly be remembered as the first true 3D FPS that out did Quake on performance for me… You could also blow the limbs of creatures.

    The rest of the game was wank :D

  36. qrter says:

    Even as a kid I thought Duke Nukem was unfunny.

  37. Funky Badger says:

    Duke was great – up there with Tie-Fighter (well, just behind Tie-Fighter). Also, greatest cut-scene evah: “I’m ganna rip off your head and shi…”

  38. Nick says:

    I enjoyed the sort of real world level design of a lot of it.. the weapons were mostly fun, it had some interactive scenery, mirrors (clever trick ones, but still) and a level building engine I could actually use. I loved it.

  39. bhlaab says:

    I don’t know if the GOG version will work, but google the eDuke source port for mouse control, graphics overhaul, etc etc

  40. Wedge says:

    Yeah, I do hope Blood gets released over this eventually, though I think the source code is lost or something, so might not work out to well. Blood is by far the best Build engine game and I’d say still stands up to a lot of FPS games today. The dynamics and destruction in the level design are something youl’d be hard pressed to find in any games these days…

  41. redrain85 says:

    @bhlaab:

    I don’t know if the GOG version will work

    You just need to copy the .GRP (map/asset) files from the GOG release over to eDuke32, add the Hi-Res and Duke Plus mods to it, and you’ll have the best version of Duke 3D: that looks a lot more up to date and adds new features. (Check out the before and after shots.)

    Yeah, it’s a bit of work to put it all together. But it’s worth it. And I’m sure that, soon enough, someone will create some kind of tool to automate adding the updates to the GOG release.

  42. wcaypahwat says:

    Is it the fully uncensored version, though?

    I have fond memories of trawling the net for the adults only access code on a very, very slow modem :)

    Oh, my hair in 95? I was rockin a flat top

  43. El Stevo says:

    My memories of Duke centre around going round to a friend’s to play it using his flight stick. I have no idea why he used a flight stick. I was young, and it had swearing and boobies.

    Then years later I bought it for the Saturn so I could play Death Tank Zwei.

  44. Spanish Technophobe says:

    Still holding out hope that one day GOG will release the Thief series. That series was near and dear to me after only one play.

  45. Max says:

    Duke 3D is one of the best FPSes ever. Hopefully 3D Realms knows what they did right and incorporates that into DNF. The map design was incredible, the weapons were unique, and the game had tons of little secrets and interactions that were amazing when you discovered them for the first time.

  46. Mr_Day, Pioneer of Yawning Indignity of Man says:

    I still believe Duke Nukem Forever to be an elaborate hoax to see how long we will wait for a game to be released.

    Just look at the title. Forever! Clue is in the name, eh?

    Massive agreement about Thief series on GoG. In fact, might just go vote for it now.

  47. Inglorion says:

    The first game I ever bought for my first PC, and I believe the first game I paid for myself.

  48. Balerion says:

    Doom was great, loved it, but that’t it. It was a great game. Duke Nukem 3D was more than that, it was full of win and awesome.
    As for Duke himself: Best character in gaming history. Period.

    For me, Duke Nukem 3D is more than just a game. :P

  49. Pavel says:

    Duke was awesome.I will never forget when I first played it on my dad’s computer, he had his repro system outside (for parties) connected to the computer inside (where I was playing), so when I was shooting with a pistol or that awesome machinegun, realworld pedestrians were scared and ran away : )).

    Yeah, Duke was awesome, theme song perfect, other songs cool too, his “COME GET SOME” too.Loved it.

  50. Irish Al says:

    Install the hi-res pack, and JonoF’s OpenGL engine which makes it proper 3D, and this is *still* a load of fun to play through.

    http://www.jonof.id.au/index.php?p=jfduke3d