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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 without the authorization of 3D Realms. Although a second publisher claims to have legally re-released the game worldwide in 2015, it is possible that a settlement from later that year may have invalidated its legal status.

History

Brazil release

Duke Nukem 3D for the Sega Genesis was initially released only in Brazil by local Sega distributor Tec Toy in 1998. For more than a decade, the legal status of the game was subject to online dispute. While 3D Realms denied that they authorized the game, Tec Toy claimed to have obtained a license through publisher GT Interactive for a limited Brazil release. However, GT Interactive went defunct in 1999, and the issue was never clarified.

Asset purchase agreement

An important piece of information about the port's legal status was accidentally revealed in the 2010 asset purchase agreement between 3D Realms and Gearbox Software, which has been made publicly available (see here). Specifically, a one-line item at the top of page 50 refers to an undisclosed agreement between GT Interactive and 3D Realms regarding a "Sega Master System" (sic) port in 1997. Although it is possible this agreement is referring to the Sega Genesis port, it is more likely that it is referring to the Sega Saturn port, given that the Sega Saturn port was published that same year in stores across the U.S.

Because the asset purchase agreement contains a survey of "all contracts and agreements involving Duke Nukem IP assets," any agreement between GT Interactive and Tec Toy should have appeared in the agreement. The document contains no other agreements related to Tec Toy or to another Sega console port. Nevertheless, it is possible that the undisclosed agreement regarding the "Sega Master System" port may have been broad enough that GT Interactive could have leveraged it to license the IP to Tec Toy.

Worldwide release

In 2015, Piko Interactive bought the putative rights to the game from Tectoy (formerly "Tec Toy") and 3D Realms, and the game was re-released worldwide. At the time, it appeared that the game's legal status had finally been resolved. However, an ongoing lawsuit between 3D Realms and Gearbox Software was settled out of court later that year, and it was agreed that Gearbox Software, not 3D Realms, was the legal rights holder to the Duke Nukem IP. As a result, it is unclear whether the license purchased by Piko Interactive is legitimate, since the lawsuit centered on which party was the legal rights holder during the period overlapping with Piko Interactive's purchase. In the absence of another public agreement or court ruling, it may not be possible to say whether Duke Nukem 3D for the Sega Genesis is properly licensed.

New copies of the game could still be purchased as late as 2020 from Piko Interactive's website, but sales ended sometime later that year.

Overview

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.

Duke_Nukem_3D_Mega_Drive_-_Overview_and_Review

Duke Nukem 3D Mega Drive - Overview and Review

Levels

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.

Weapons

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
    • First Appearance: The Incubator
  5. RPG
    • First Appearance: The Incubator
  6. Pipe Bombs
    • First Appearance: The Incubator
  7. Devastator
    • First Appearance: The Incubator

Items

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.

Health items

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.

Enemies

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.

Cheats

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

Plot

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."

Gallery

Box art, instruction booklet, and magazine articles

In-Game Photos

Weapons

Enemies

General screenshots

Ending

Trivia

  • 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).

Links

Duke Nukem 3D
Episodes L.A. MeltdownLunar ApocalypseShrapnel CityThe BirthAlien World Order
Weapons Mighty FootPistolShotgunChaingun CannonRPGPipe BombShrinkerExpanderDevastatorLaser TripbombFreezethrowerIncinerator
Items Access CardsHealth ItemsHolodukeJetpackNight Vision GogglesPortable MedkitProtective BootsScuba GearSteroids
Enemies Assault CaptainAssault CommanderAssault TrooperBattlelord SentryCycloid SentryEnforcerFirefly TrooperOctabrainOverlord SentryPig CopPig Cop TankProtector DroneProtozoid SlimerRecon Patrol VehicleSentry DroneSharkTurret
Bosses BattlelordOverlordCycloid EmperorAlien QueenCycloid Incinerator
Editions ClassicAtomic Edition (Plutonium PAK)20th Anniversary World Tour
Expansions Duke AssaultDuke Caribbean: Life's A BeachDuke It Out In D.C.Duke Nukem 3D Level Design HandbookDuke Nukem's Penthouse ParadiseDuke XtremeDuke: Nuclear WinterDuke!ZONEDuke!ZONE 150Duke!ZONE IIUnofficial Expansions
Community High Resolution PackMods & Total ConversionsSource PortsSpeedrunningUser Maps
Other Build EngineCheat CodesDifficultyDuke Nukem (character)MultiplayerMusicPortsPrototypesQuotesScrapped Content
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