Duke Nuclear Winter (also called Duke: Nuclear Winter or Duke Nukem: Nuclear Winter) is an expansion pack to 3D Realms's first-person shooter, Duke Nukem 3D. It was developed by Simply Silly Software and published by WizardWorks. The expansion was released on December 30, 1997.
Nuclear Winter is notorious for featuring numerous fantasious elements, such as elves and an incarnation of Santa Claus. Thus, contrary to the other main expansions Life's a Beach and Duke It Out in DC, this add-on certanly is not canonical to the sequel Duke Nukem Forever.
Santa Claus has been captured and brainwashed by the aliens that Duke defeated last time; however, to make matters worse, they're supported by a new enemy force calling themselves the Feminist Elven Militia. Duke Nukem needs to travel to the North Pole in order to stop Santa Claus and the intruders together with whatever evil plan he has planned. Our hero will visit many familiar locations during his journey but also new locations.
Level design Edit
Most levels in the game are snow themed including previously visited levels like Red Light District and Hollywood Holocaust which the player went through in the original game. However, there are also new levels which will have the player travel to such as the headquarters of Santa Claus, a large town village and a toy factory.
Apart from containing several new enemies like snow men that throw snow balls at the player, and female elves that use dual sub-machine guns, old enemies also make a comeback such as Pig Cops and Enforcers with Christmas costumes to fit the general theme of the game. Santa Claus, appropriately going by the name Santa Claws as well, also makes an appearance as the boss of the episode.
Duke: Nuclear Winter was largely met with a negative response by fans of Duke Nukem 3D. The majority of fans didn't like the fact that the player visits two levels from the original game, and considered it a lazy move by the developers just to fill out the expansion in order to make it last longer.
In fact these levels were very much changed. There were new secrets, changed areas and new enemy/weapon placements.
- Duke has a scarf and ear muff's on the box art for the game but his sprites in the actual game remain unchanged.
- This expansion didn't add any new Quotes from Duke Nukem to fit the Christmas theme.
- The title of the game, Nuclear Winter, is obviously a reference to the climatic effect of a global all-out nuclear war.
- Mario from the extremely popular Mario games can be found in the Land of Forgotten Toys level; he has his back turned to the player and is seen playing Mario Kart on a TV.
- Santa Claws movie posters can be found throughout the game - whether they're supposed to be an homage or not to the Santa Claws movie is not made clear.
- A small portion of the first level from the popular Doom game was recreated in Duke: Nuclear Winter when the player enters a portal from the Land of Forgotten Toys level in order to find a Access Card. A space marine's severed mutilated corpse can be found in the level.
- The first two levels in Duke: Nuclear Winter are modified versions of the first two levels in L.A. Meltdown and whilst having some new places to explore, some events that already happened in the original versions will happen again in the Nuclear Winter versions, such as an earthquake just before going up the stairs before a hole in the wall emerges in Where It All Began (which also happened in its counterpart from the original game Hollywood Holocaust).
- Unlike the Enforcer's and Troopers new sprites that replace their original counterparts, the Christmas Pig Cop sprites in this don't replace the original Pig Cops since for unknown reasons the original Pig Cop's sprites are replaced by Santa Claws and the Christmas Pig Cop sprites replace other sprites.
- The Episodes that come with the original Duke Nukem 3D are rendered almost unplayable while Nuclear Winter is active due to sprites being replaced. (The Battlelord, the Overlord and the Cycloid Emperor are inactive etc.). A particularly notable change is all the original Pig Cops encountered in the normal episodes will be replaced by Santa Claws since he overrides their sprites; so if there was five pig cops in one area normally the player would have to face five Santa Claws' instead, and if the player killed one it would automatically end the episode (the player's chances of survival against more than one Santa Claws would be quite low in any case).
- Official website via Internet Archive
- Video Walkthrough by Lingyan203
- Video Walkthrough by GalleyUK
- Video Walkthrough by ultratree85