The Cycloid Emperor is a boss in Duke Nukem Forever. There are two of them, in fact: the first and the last bosses in the game, as well as the first enemy encountered and fought, though it should be noted that Assault Troopers are seen before him but are killed off by EDF soldiers. The first Cycloid Emperor (titled simply "Cycloid" in-game) is a video game representation of an enemy defeated by Duke in Duke Nukem 3D. The second, end-boss Cycloid Emperor is the current leader of the aliens.
Video Game Cycloid
On the surface, the Cycloid Emperor (titled simply Cycloid) appears to be the same as his Duke Nukem 3D counterpart as he still fire missiles. However, he actually has several new attacks and is very robotic in comparison to the original. He is also somewhat larger, standing at about 25 feet tall. This Cycloid is in fact a video game character in a video game based on Duke's adventures in Duke Nukem 3D. For this reason, his role isn't quite as significant as his original appearance in Duke Nukem 3D, as his attacks aren't too difficult to avoid.
When he takes enough damage from Duke's Devastator, he will collapse; Duke then has to climb on top of him and pull out what appears to be a life support cable on his back. The life support cable presumably keeps him alive as well as powering the exo-skeleton. If Duke doesn't do it in time the Cycloid will stand up again, grab Duke, and slam him to the ground (his fifth move) which takes away a lot of Duke's health and restores some of the Cycloid's health, meaning Duke will have to give him another beating before making another attempt at pulling out the cable.
Once the cable is pulled out, the Cycloid will try to stand up again, but will soon collapse and his eye will fall out, which Duke will then kick into a goal post just like he did with the original. However it is an interactive scene as opposed to a cutscene. Furthermore, when Duke defeated the original, he kicked him in the back of the head to cause the eye to fly out and over the goal post, but in the case of this Cycloid, the eye's already out and Duke just kicks the eye over the goal post, which makes both versions similar but noticeably different. Upon his defeat, Duke finishes the video game and the game returns to the "real" world.
Finish-off fail: The Cycloid stands up and takes Duke from his back with his right hand. He stares and roars at Duke and throws Duke to floor fastly, which makes Duke's Ego depleted. Duke stands up and the Cycloid roars once again and Duke's Ego recharges to full. Cycloid gains a little more health after the finish-off fail.
Attacks (Video Game Cycloid )
The first attack is a charging move that he does with rocket boosters attached to his back. This is triggered when his health is 25% or lower. The second move is a melee attack. If the player gets close to the Cycloid, either by just walking up to him or being in front of him during his charge, he will grab Duke and slam him to the ground for a large amount of damage. The third move involves the Cycloid slamming his claws into the ground and sending an electric pulse that can cause Duke to trip over if it hits him as well as do damage. The fourth move, if Duke is too close, involves the Cycloid slamming his foot into the ground with such tremendous force it will put Duke on the brink of death and make Duke airborne briefly, though if the player manages to get far enough from him or jump into the air, the attack won't affect Duke although the attack can still knock the player into the air if they aren't quite out of range of the attack. His ranged attack involves firing rockets at the player from his arms. Although he has these new close combat moves, he no longer has the Mental Orb Blast ability that the original Duke Nukem 3D Cycloid Emperor used; instead, he uses a ground mental pulse wave.
True Cycloid Emperor
At the end of the game, Duke encounters the new Cycloid Emperor, the current leader of the alien forces. Duke Nukem hears of him a few times throughout the game, especially from the President, who tried to make peace with aliens through the Cycloid Emperor. He is very similar in appearance to the original Cycloid Emperor and his virtual version. However, in contrast to the former Emperor, this one has a black eye instead of red, and is much more cybernetic. The Cycloid commands the aliens' last stand at Hoover Dam, and is seen two times by Duke while making his way through the dam; including a security monitor. After the dam is finally blown and the alien portal is closed, Duke eventually faces the Cycloid Emperor in Final Battle but not before him, who has now had enough of the alliance, murders the President, his bodyguards and an EDF solidier (who tries to stop the Cycloid Emperor with a shotgun). It's unknown if it was the fact Duke destroyed the dam that provoked the Cycloid Emperor into doing this or quite possibly because he had heard about the presidents orders to launch an ICBM to clear out the remainder of the hostile alien forces as well as leaving Duke to die since the President himself now believed there was no chance of an alliance thanks to Duke Nukem; it should also be noted that shortly before the Cycloid Emperor suddenly emerges in the final battle, the EDF soldier, that was later killed by the Cycloid Emperor, states that they think the Cycloid Emperor had retreated since no one had seen him since the dam's destruction which means at this point the President didn't know the Cycloid Emperor was still in the area.
Once the Cycloid Emperor is done killing the President, he turns his attention to Duke Nukem. He has all the same attacks as the virtual version as well as a new one unique to him, he features three stages of battling him, all ending with a quick-time event; like in the virtual version if the player fails any of these strength tests, the Cycloid Emperor will slam them to the ground and some of his health will be restored. The battles are listed in order below; though the Cycloid's attacks are powerful, they can generally be dodged if the player stays on the move; generally staying on the move and strafing are the key to victory:
Note: This is based on normal difficulty so what's described here may be subject to change on other difficulty settings though the principle of beating him will remain the same; generally the difficulty settings will either make the Cycloid Emperor harder or easier. On Damn I'm Good (Insane) for instance, common enemies used as a source of ammo take a lot more punishment than they would on Let's Rock (normal).
1st Battle: When the Cycloid Emperor starts advancing on Duke initially Duke will not be able to hurt him as he is only armed with the gold-plated M1911. The only suitable source of ammo is an RPG from Pigcops dropping down from passing drop ships to aid the Cycloid Emperor; some also drop a single pipe bomb which can also be used against the Cycloid Emperor as it's an explosive though the RPG is obviously easier to use, especially at longer ranges. In order to start doing damage to the Cycloid Emperor Duke will have to avoid his attacks but at the same time kill Pigcops with his pistol to get RPG ammo. If the player is in need of additional RPG ammo but has run out of ammo for the M1911 they'll have to use melee attacks on the Pigcops or find another weapon on the battlefield; a shotgun can also be found at the start of the battle, it is dropped by the EDF solider the player just witnessed being crushed underfoot by the Cycloid Emperor. The player doesn't have to take the dead EDF soldier's shotgun yet as they can pick it up in the 2nd or 3rd battle but it's there if they need it.
During this fight, the Cycloid Emperor will use all his close combat abilities: his rockets, his charge attack and electric pulse attack.
Once enough damage has been done to the Cycloid Emperor, he will collapse to the ground. The player will then have to climb on top of the Cycloid Emperor and do a strength test to pull out the cable on the Cycloid Emperors right arm.
2nd Battle: Once Duke Pulls out the cable, he jumps away but shortly after this the Cycloid Emperor stands up again. At this point, General Graves tells Duke help will be on the way in a few minutes. Once again in this battle, Duke will also have to rely on getting RPG ammo from Pigcops emerging from drop ships. Also Assault Captains and Enforcers will start appearing on the battlefield. Both the assault captain and the enforcer's also drop weapons that be used to the players advantage when killed; the Assault Captain's Laser can be used to take down other enemies in the area and the same applies to the Enforcer's Enforcer Gun; however as an added bonus because it's an explosive weapon, it can dish out significant damage to the boss too which gives the player a third option in addition to pipe bombs and the RPG.
In addition to the abilities from the 1st battle, the Cycloid Emperor now starts to attack more rapidly and now uses an eye-laser to place a marker for a rocket strike which fires rockets into the air; that will home in on the position pin-pointed by the laser and generate a large explosion upon impact (the rockets are coming out of his backpack).
Once enough damage has been done to the Cycloid Emperor he will collapse to the ground. The player will then have to climb on top of it and do a strength test to pull out the cable on the Cycloid's left arm.
3rd Battle: Once Duke pulls out the cable he jumps away from the Cycloid Emperor but shortly after the he stands up again for the third and final confrontation. When this battle begins initially, it looks as though Duke will once again only be able to rely only on weapons the enemies drop. However, after hitting the Cycloid Emperor a couple of times with the RPG, the EDF Gunship will drop in a container full of ammunition and the devastator. During this battle, the player will be able to now use the container as a source of ammo which makes this battle noticeably more straightforward than the previous two; though the player can still use enemies as a source of ammo if they like.
At this stage in the battle, aliens will appear a lot more frequently . In this battle, the Cycloid has no new abilities though his attacks are more frequent and rapid than the 2nd battle.
Once the Cycloid Emperor is finally pinned down, the player then climbs on top of him and does a final strength test to pull out the cable on his back. Once the cable is out the Cycloid Emperor will finally die. When defeated, with his black eye lying on the ground, Duke pisses into his brain through the eye socket, just as he promised in the beginning of the fight and then leaves the battlefield in a drop ship with General Graves moments before the nuclear strike the president ordered hits the area.
Attacks (True Cycloid Emperor)
While this Cycloid Emperor is tougher and more dangerous than the virtual version; the same strategy against the original can still be used. Apart from his sky rocket attack, his attacks are more or less the same as the virtual version.The first attack is a charging move he does with rocket boosters attached to his back. Unlike the video game Cycloid, he starts using this charging attack right away. The second move is a melee attack. If the player gets close to the Emperor, either by just walking up to him or being in front of him during his charge, he will grab the player and slam them to the ground for a large amount of damage. The third move involves the Cycloid Emperor slamming his claws into the ground and sending an electric pulse that can cause Duke Nukem to trip over if it hits him as well as do damage. The forth move if Duke is too close involves the Cycloid Emperor slamming his foot into the ground with such tremendous force, it will put Duke on the brink of death and make Duke airborne briefly; though if the player manages to get far enough from him or jump into the air the attack won't affect Duke though the attack can still knock the player into the air if they aren't quite out of range of the force generated but they won't suffer any damage. He also fires rockets from his arms at the player and in addition during the 2nd battle he will use his eye laser to designate a location to fire a lethal payload of rockets from his backpack; the latter being the only ability the virtual version lacks.