Duke Nukem 3D for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis is a console port of the desktop PC/MS-DOS game Duke Nukem 3D. The port is profoundly different from the original game.

The Sega Genesis port was initially published in Brazil in 1998, and a second publisher re-released the game worldwide in 2015. New copies of the game continue to be manufactured and sold on the U.S. market into the 2020s.


The Sega Genesis port of Duke Nukem 3D is a highly simplified version of the original game and features only 9 levels, all loosely inspired by maps from Lunar Apocalypse.

Rather than porting the level design from the original game, this version features original levels with a flat layout and 90-degree angles only (similar to Wolfenstein 3D). Textures, sprites, and sounds are ported from the PC version in greatly reduced quality. Nevertheless, the game is relatively advanced for the Sega Genesis 16-bit console.

The port is also notable for including Pig Cops, which were never found in the original Lunar Apocalypse, and a fully functional Space Suit, which was partially coded in the Duke Nukem 3D v0.99 beta but scrapped from the commercial release.


There is no episode selection in the Sega Genesis port. Instead, the game features a single sequence of 9 levels. Although some of the levels are named after maps from Lunar Apocalypse, the sequence of levels does not have an episode name.

List of levels:

  1. Spaceport
  2. The Incubator
  3. Secret Laser
  4. Lunar Space
  5. Occupied Territory
  6. Mortal Prison
  7. Fatal Wind
  8. Electric Station
  9. Overlord

There are no secret levels, but each level contains secret areas. Each level is also associated with a "Par Time" and "3D Realms Time". All of this information is included alongside the gameplay statistics on the level-end screen after each level is completed. The level-end screen is now a static image but is otherwise unchanged from the PC version.


Weapon ammo capacities and the amounts of damage they deal are identical to the PC version.

List of weapons, sorted by their in-game number assignments:

  1. Mighty Foot
    • First Appearance: The player begins the game with it.
  2. Pistol
    • First Appearance: The player begins the game with it.
  3. Shotgun
  4. Chaingun Cannon
  5. RPG
  6. Pipe Bombs
  7. Devastator


List of items, by order of appearance:

Because there are no buttons assigned for the inventory, the Portable Medkit is automatically applied as needed, similar to the Boots and Space Suit.

Apart from inventory items, the game also features Access Cards, Small Medkits, Large Medkits, Atomic Healths, and Armor. However, the Small Medkits, Large Medkits, Atomic Healths, and Armor do not appear until the second level of the game (The Incubator) and are considerably rarer than in the PC version.


Although most enemies fire more frequently, all enemies appear to possess roughly the same amounts of health and deal roughly the same amounts of damage as in the PC version, except where noted otherwise.

List of enemies, by order of appearance:

  • Assault Trooper
    • First Appearance: Spaceport
    • The Assault Troopers now have blue armor and fire their weapons more frequently. They are briefly stunned and exhibit their "pain" animations every single time they take damage, instead of at random.
  • Sentry Drone
    • First Appearance: Spaceport
    • The Sentry Drones are now significantly slower, have significantly less health, and yield a smaller blast radius upon exploding.
  • Protozoid Slimer / Protozoid Slimer Egg
    • First Appearance: Spaceport
    • The Protozoid Slimers are now incapable of crawling on ceilings or eating other enemies. Neither they nor their Eggs leave slime puddles when destroyed. Instead of exploding into green chunks, they now explode into blood and guts, which include eyeballs even though they do not have eyes.
  • Pig Cop
    • First Appearance: The Incubator
    • The Pig Cops now fire more frequently and only fire from a standing position. They deal damage more consistently but in smaller increments. They are briefly stunned and exhibit their "pain" animations every single time they take damage, instead of at random.
  • Turret
    • First Appearance: Secret Laser
    • The Turrets are now only found on the ground, mounted on metal rods.
  • Octabrain
    • First Appearance: Lunar Space
    • The Octabrains will now enter a "firing state," during which they fire more frequently and often retreat backwards while firing. Their psychic projectiles no longer leave trails, and the Octabrains no longer bite the player. They are incapable of exhibiting a "pain" animation or being stunned when taking damage.
  • Assault Commander
    • First Appearance: Lunar Space
    • The Assault Commanders now lean forward in the direction they are moving. They also now exhibit "pain" animations and are sometimes randomly stunned when taking damage.
  • Enforcer
    • First Appearance: Occupied Territory
    • The Enforcers are now incapable of crouching, shooting green slime, or leaving piles of feces. They also now exhibit "pain" animations and are sometimes randomly stunned when taking damage.
  • Overlord
    • Final Boss on "Overlord"
    • The Overlord is now smaller, exhibits a shorter delay before firing on-sight, fires only two rockets at a time, fires less frequently, moves slower, and has less health.

Behavioral changes

Enemies in the Sega Genesis version behave differently than in the PC version.

  • They are not capable of basic pathfinding. Their movement is triggered by proximity instead of line-of-sight, and although there is an element of randomness in their movement, they tend to walk in a perfectly straight line towards the player, even if they are separated from the player by multiple walls and large objects. In general, their movement is more confined to specific areas, and they become "stuck" easily.
  • By default, they never drop ammunition or Armor when killed. However, there are a few rare exceptions that drop the same item every time they are killed. For example, after providing the blue access card on Spaceport, there is an Assault Trooper in the next room that will always drop ammo for the Pistol when killed.
  • They only produce sound effects when killed or when firing their weapons. When killed, the only "dying" sound is that of the Assault Trooper, and this sound is recycled for all other enemies, including the Overlord. However, the Sentry Drones and Protozoid Slimers are completely silent.
  • Although they may vanish when killed by explosions, their corpses cannot be removed by explosions.
  • Because the levels are completely flat, they are no longer capable of jumping or flying.


To activate any of the cheats, the player must first pause the game by holding START + A + B.

While on the pause screen, enter one of the following sequences:

  • God Mode: Up, A, Down, B, C, Down
  • All Items: A, C, Left, A, B, Down
  • Skip Level: Up, Left, Right, B, B, A


The back cover of the game box offers a brief storyline:

"It's time to kick some ass! Alien killers are about to invade Los Angeles. From one moment to another, the human race becomes threatened with extinction. Now only Duke Nukem can prevent this massacre on planet Earth, doing what he does best: EXPLODING, DETONATING, MASSACRING, SKINNING and ANNIHILATING aliens!" (Translated by BroNsisGaming )
The plot is never explained in-game until the very end after Duke kills the Overlord, the final boss of the game, and sees the Cycloid Emperor on a giant monitor. At this point, text on the screen reads:
"Duke cracked his knuckles and smirked, 'I need a stiff drink... a shower... and, a soft-skinned belly to lie my head on.' A nearby monitor flickered on, and an incredibly ugly face spoke an ominous message: 'The moon assault Overlord has been defeated, as was our Battlelord on Earth. But while Duke Nukem has been distracted our main attack wave has begun its final assault on Earth. We shall obliterate all resistance.' 'Guess again, freak show,' Duke growled. 'Duke's coming back to town, and the last thing that's gonna go through your mind before you die... is my size 13 boot!'"
This may explain why there are pictures of the Battlelord and Cycloid Emperor on the level "Secret Laser".

Legal status

The legal status of the Sega Genesis port has been subject to online debate over false rumors that 3D Realms never authorized the game. However, the asset purchase agreement in which 3D Realms granted exclusive rights to the Duke Nukem IP to Gearbox Software specifically lists the Sega Genesis port as one of the licenses included in the agreement (see PDF copy of the agreement).


Box art, instruction booklet, and magazine articles

In-Game Photos



General screenshots



  • The only times Duke speaks are when a new game is started ("Yeah, piece of cake.", "Let's rock.", and "Come get some."), the player dies (death scream), the player is idle ("What are you waiting for, Christmas?" and "Come on.") or trying to load a saved game after dying but there are no saved games (alternative death scream).


Duke Nukem 3D
Episodes L.A. Meltdown | Lunar Apocalypse | Shrapnel City
Plutonium PAK: The Birth
Anniversary Edition: Alien World Order
Items Access Card | Holoduke | Jetpack | Night Vision Goggles | Portable Medkit
Protective Boots | Scuba Gear | Steroids
Health: Small Medkit | Large Medkit | Atomic Health | Armor
Scrapped: Space Suit | Shield
Weapons Mighty Foot | Pistol | Shotgun | Chaingun Cannon | RPG | Pipe Bomb | Shrinker
Expander | Devastator | Laser Tripbomb | Freezethrower | Incinerator
Scrapped: Flamethrower | Laser Chainsaw | Sonic Resonator | Tazer | Plasma Cannon
Enemies Common enemies: Assault Captain | Assault Commander | Enforcer | Assault Trooper | Battlelord Sentry | Octabrain | Pig Cop | Protozoid Slimer | Recon Patrol Vehicle | Sentry Drone | Shark | Turret
Plutonium PAK: Pig Cop Tank | Protector Drone
Anniversary Edition: Firefly Trooper | Cycloid Sentry | Overlord Sentry
Bosses: Battlelord | Overlord | Cycloid Emperor
Plutonium PAK: Alien Queen
Anniversary Edition: Cycloid Incinerator
Scrapped: Alien Queen Sentry | Bat | Captain | Drone | Drone 2 | Femanoid | Mandroid
Organic Turret | Scorpion Tank | Snake Head | Trooper | Turret
Expansion packs
and add-ons
Duke Assault | Duke Nukem 3D Level Design Handbook (CD levels) | Duke Caribbean: Life's A Beach | Duke: Nuclear Winter | Duke It Out In D.C.
Duke Xtreme | Duke!ZONE | Duke!ZONE 150 | Duke!ZONE II | Plutonium PAK | Duke Nukem's Penthouse Paradise | Unofficial expansion packs
Fan community User maps | Mods & Total Conversions | Speedruns
Source ports | High Resolution Pack
Other Difficulty | Hazards | Multiplayer | Cheat codes | Easter eggs
Quotes | Music | Duke Nukem
Build engine | Game bugs | Unused data | LameDuke
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