Duke Nukem Wiki
This page refers to the Duke Nukem 3D boss. For other uses, see here.

The Cycloid Emperor is the final boss of Shrapnel City, making it the final boss in the original edition of Duke Nukem 3D. Later bosses were added in the Atomic Edition and 20th Anniversary Edition.

In the Alien World Order episode, the Cycloid Emperor makes a second appearance on Bloody Hell, though only on higher difficulty settings.

The Cycloid Emperor is also featured as the final boss of several authorized expansions, including Duke!ZONE II, Duke It Out In D.C., and Duke Caribbean: Life's A Beach.


The Cycloid Emperor is the leader of the alien invaders. Encountered on Stadium, it attacks the player with a rapid-spread version of the Octabrain's mental blast at close range. It will also fire a large barrage of missiles at a distance, inflicting the same amount of damage as Duke's RPG.


The Cycloid Emperor is taller than the Battlelord or Overlord and can be recognized by its single-eyed face and huge tripod claw arms. It uses its claw arms as barrels for firing missiles.

Combat analysis[]

The Cycloid Emperor has 4500 hit points and is unaffected by the Shrinker. The Cycloid Emperor ranks as one of the most dangerous of the bosses in Duke Nukem 3D due to the erratic nature of its main attack, which fire rockets in salvos of 2-3 per shot. The Cycloid Emperor's other attack, the mental orb spray, is activated only at short to medium range.


Hit points 4500
Speed 192
256 (Running)
Pain chance 12.5% (32/256)
Clipdist 164
Scale 80 x 80
Sprites & sounds
Actor tile number 2710/BOSS2
Chase sound thud.voc
Action sound b2atk01.voc
Pain sound b2pain03.voc
Death sound b2die03.voc
Rocket attack
Type Projectile
Rate 3.2 projectiles/second
Speed 772
Damage 140~
0-140 (blast radius)
2,240~ (full volley)
Actor tile number 2605/RPG
1890/EXPLOSION2 (Impact)
Sound b2atk02.voc
bombexpl.voc (impact)
Mental Energy Orb Burst
Type Projectile
Rate Average 26 projectiles/second
Speed 348
Damage 38~ (per orb)
513~ (average full volley)
Actor tile number 1360/COOLEXPLOSION1
Sound b2atk02.voc
Type Health access
Damage 1000



  • When Duke first encounters the Cycloid Emperor, he utters "It's down to you and me, you one-eyed freak!" Upon dying, Duke will say, "Die, you son of a bitch!"
  • If placed on user maps with the default palette of 0, the Cycloid Emperor will only be able to walk on sectors with a Lotag of 3. This is why it cannot leave the field in Stadium and why it usually cannot move from its initial position.
  • As with the Overlord and the Alien Queen, the Cycloid Emperor's programming used the Battlelord as a base template, and there is leftover code in the Cycloid Emperor. While in another palette, the Cycloid Emperor has the same appearance as the Battlelord Sentry and only 1 hit point. Also, the rockets launched from the Cycloid Emperor will not spawn correctly and will actually cause it to kill itself if it does not have the correct palette.
    • If an off-palette Cycloid Emperor is artificially given a smaller size, this self-destruction does not occur.
  • Some of the Cycloid Emperor's roars are similar to the T-Rex from Jurassic Park.
  • There is an unused alert sound (b2rec03.voc) that never made it into the game, since Duke is instead heard talking. The sound is used in the Sega Saturn version by the Overlord.
  • A Cycloid Emperor can be seen on the Duke Nukem 3D box cover in a prototype version of the Movie Set level.
  • In Duke Caribbean: Life's A Beach, the Cycloid Emperor makes an appearance as the final boss with a Hawaiian outfit to fit the Caribbean theme.
  • In Duke Nukem: Total Meltdown, the Cycloid Emperor looks similar to the original one found in Duke Nukem 3D in shape and size, but its hue is much darker.
  • In the Duke Nukem 64 port, the Cycloid Emperor is rendered with polygons and is the only fully 3D enemy in the game. In addition, it is larger, slower, and has more health than in the PC version. It also fires rockets with its left arm instead of its right. Upon reaching one-third of its health, it will replace the rockets it fires with half-charged plasma bolts.
  • In Duke Nukem: Zero Hour, the final boss, Zero, appears to be a Cycloid himself, being as tall as the Cycloid Emperor and having a similar appearance.
  • In Duke Nukem: Land of the Babes, the final boss, Alien Slave Boss, appears to be a mutated Cycloid, except it is much smaller, has green skin, and pilots an airborne vehicle.
Duke Nukem 3D
Episodes L.A. MeltdownLunar ApocalypseShrapnel CityThe BirthAlien World Order
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