The Sega Saturn version of Duke Nukem 3D is a 1997 port that was developed by Lobotomy Software and published by Sega. Instead of the classic Build engine, the port uses Lobotomy Software's own game engine, SlaveDriver, which is notable for its use of dynamic lighting.
See also Edge's YouTube playlist for level-by-level videos. Note that the progress bar in the video below is also chapterized by levels.
Levels are not divided into episodes but are instead played in a continuous sequence, with opportunities to save the player's progress after completing each level. Levels that are split into two do not display level names while loading their latter halves, but the latter parts of these levels are denoted with a "2" after their names on the level-select screen that can be accessed using cheat codes.
1. Hollywood Holocaust
16. Lunar Reactor
Changes from the PC version
- The game uses the SlaveDriver engine by Lobotomy Software, rather than the Build engine by Ken Silverman.
- The SlaveDriver engine supports dynamic lighting, which even responds to explosions and firing weapons.
- Similar to Duke Nukem 64, the game has a unique tint for colorized sectors but with much stronger colors.
- Walls are aligned with slopes.
- While most in-game tiles match those from the PC version, some have been replaced, usually preserving some familiar aspect from the original.
- Water, slime, and lava have a new appearance with much larger tiles.
- The soundtrack is limited to a smaller selection of music from the original PC soundtrack, as well as one new track for Urea 51.
- Given the limited selection of music, most levels have been assigned to redundant music tracks.
- The music has been remixed and remastered.
- Like Duke Nukem 64, levels are not divided into episodes.
- Also like Duke Nukem 64, some levels have been divided into two parts.
- The secret levels Spin Cycle, Lunatic Fringe, Tier Drops, and Freeway have been cut.
- A new secret level, Urea 51, has been added. (See the main article)
- The in-game menu has been simplified.
- Multiplayer game modes from the PC version are now supported via the Sega Saturn NetLink, an external hardware device that could be connected to the console, and do not appear on the main menu if the game is booted normally.
- Inventory items are activated and deactivated from the pause menu.
- The player is no longer able to crouch manually but will instead crouch automatically when entering tight spaces.
- Explosions have noticeably larger collision boxes.
All levels in the Sega Saturn version of Duke Nukem 3D have been either completely recreated from scratch or else imported from the PC version using a highly noisy conversion process. As a result, every level of the game is noticeably quite different from the PC version.
Due to hardware limitations of the Sega Saturn, all levels have been significantly compressed into fewer walls and sectors. Large areas have been divided or simplified, and ceilings and high-rises have been lowered. Certain levels have even been split into two parts in order to save on CPU usage. In addition, some features have been removed from the game altogether, including all trains and revolving objects.
However, some of the porting-related deterioration in quality appears to be unrelated to hardware limitations and may instead reflect issues with the engine or with the quality of the recreated levels. In particular, many walls in the game are conspicuously distorted. This effect is most commonly seen along the bottoms of walls near slopes, on walls near hidden compartments, and on walls near areas that have been removed from the PC version. Some walls, particularly the one outside the magazine shop at the beginning of Rabid Transit, appear to have been incorrectly drawn, resulting not only in graphical distortions but also large-scale sector distortions.
As a matter of design philosophy, all of the levels appear to be attempts at faithful recreations of their PC counterparts, but there are a few consistent deviations. First, the player's starting position on each level is almost always slightly different than in the PC version, often starting a few meters away and facing a different direction. Second, the placement and composition of enemies is only very loosely based on the PC version. Third, all doors throughout the game are now opaque, sliding doors. Fourth, most of the secret areas have either been cut or simplified in some way. Finally, all the boss areas feature inconsequential but highly salient changes from the PC version, usually with different entrances and skyboxes.
Some of the most notable level-specific changes include:
- Some levels have been split into two; upon hitting an intermediary exit button, the second half of the level will load.
- Toxic Dump has been split inside the doorway past the shrinker beam, where a hallway leads into a flooded control room.
- The Abyss has been split inside the Battlelord's spaceship; there are now two doorways into the spaceship that lead to a single room with a giant hole in the floor, covered by a forcefield with an exit button in front of it.
- Fusion Station has been split at the point where the player must shoot a switch in order to activate a moving bridge; the exit button is on the other side of the bridge, though enemies will spawn inside the adjacent windows both before and after the split.
- Dark Side is split immediately after the final Access Card is used to access Beta Transport.
- Overlord is split inside a completely new area that has been created at the bottom of the ventilation shaft, just before confronting the Overlord.
- Except for a few minor differences, Hollywood Holocaust is relatively unchanged compared to other levels.
- Elevators have been removed from the beginnings of levels, including Red Light District, Warp Factor, and Stadium.
- Similar to a change made in Duke Nukem 64, the empty green lot between the buildings on Red Light District has been replaced with an inaccessible white building that is connected to the pornography store.
- The "Duke Nukem Must Die" sign has been removed from Red Light District.
- The hidden room above the Yellow Access Card door on Red Light District that is normally accessible only during multiplayer can now be accessed during singleplayer and is considered a secret area.
- In the chapel on Death Row, it is no longer possible to turn the room red and to flip the cross upside-down; the corresponding secret area is now accessed by opening the wall behind the stained glass window, rather than by activating a hidden switch.
- The rotating control room with a hologram of the Battlelord on Death Row has been dramatically simplified; it no longer rotates and no longer contains control terminals in the center of the room, let alone a hologram.
- Because rotating objects have been completely removed from the game, the player no longer needs to squeeze between the yellow cylindrical gears on Toxic Dump.
- Moving platforms that form bridges when a flip is switched on Toxic Dump, Fusion Station, Tiberius Station, and Dark Side have been replaced with a vertically rising and lowering platform.
- The rocket ship on Launch Facility no longer explodes; the corresponding switch simply opens the adjacent elevator.
- Near the beginning of The Abyss, there is no longer a broken bridge over the canyon, but a rocky archway has been added over the "San Andreas Fault" sign.
- Large parts of The Abyss have been removed, including the area where the player is shrunk and the long pathway to the Battlelord's spaceship; instead, the path to the Battlelord's spaceship is much shorter and is immediately accessible without requiring an earthquake.
- The mobile fighter ship that fires at the player near the start of Spaceport has been removed.
- Many of the large, moving objects and sectors on Incubator and Warp Factor have been rendered stationary.
- The exploding elevator near the beginning of Warp Factor no longer explodes.
- The moving trains on Warp Factor and Dark Side have been replaced with teleporters.
- The largest secret area from the PC version of the game - the Bridge of the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek - has been completely removed from Warp Factor.
- The tall, central column with lava at the bottom on Fusion Station has been divided into completely separate rooms; each time the player must cross a lava-filled chasm, it is in a completely new room, sometimes with "beaches" of solid ground at the bottom.
- On Fusion Station, the room with the pool of water and spinning turbines has been completely overhauled; the turbines have been removed in favor of a slightly more convoluted puzzle involving a total of four switches.
- Although a common theme across many levels, all of the Battlelord Sentries on Occupied Territory have been replaced with Assault Commanders, though only one of the two doors with the Battlelord's face have been retextured.
- Because it is no longer possible to enter crawlspaces while falling or using the Jetpack, it is no longer possible to exploit a well-known shortcut through the vents on Tiberius Station.
- The two arms of the garbage compactor on Lunar Reactor have been removed, leaving a spacious room with water along the floor.
- On Lunar Reactor, it is now much easier to find the Access Card at the end of the canal of toxic waste because the yellow cylindrical gear has been removed from the passage to the hidden control room.
- The red room with the Sentry Drones on the way to the Yellow Access Card on Dark Side has been significantly overhauled, with "cages" of vertical bars preventing the Sentry Drones from reaching the player too early, and the moving bridge has been replaced with vertically rising and lowering platforms.
- The platform with the Yellow Access Card on Dark Side is now much lower and covered by a forcefield that must be deactivated; the reactor and its accompanying destruction have been completely removed.
- Although the secret exit to Lunatic Fringe has been removed, the hidden passage containing the secret exit button is still present but completely empty on Dark Side.
- Apart from the secret exit to Urea 51, the only completely new area of the game is found at the bottom of the ventilation shaft on Overlord; an exit button (which loads part 2 of Overlord) is found inside a chapel-like alien structure with the corpse of an astronaut in place of a cross.
- The exit on Raw Meat no longer contains a crack in the wall where the player can glimpse part of Bank Roll.
- Because rotating objects have been completely removed from the game, the room full of rotating cylinders on Bank Roll is now navigated by opening vertical elevators that block passages between each of the cylinders.
- On L.A. Rumble, the abortion clinic and the office building are now two halves of a single building connected by a massive, multi-story, low-hanging, enclosed bridge above the main road (possibly added to occlude distant objects that could cause performance issues on the Sega Saturn).
- L.A. Rumble no longer features the earthquakes or giant billboard.
- In addition to the one inside the executive suite, there is now a second Jetpack on L.A. Rumble at the far end of the ledge below the office windows, thus encouraging players to make use of a shortcut.
- The helicopter no longer appears at the end of L.A. Rumble or at the beginning of Movie Set.
- Because the helicopter never crashes on Movie Set, the crash zone is now a fully intact area completely enclosed in solid walls, but a hidden area with some weapons, ammo, and items can be found if the player uses the Jetpack to fly over the walls.
- The secret exit on Movie Set has been replaced with a portal to the prototype area that was unused and out-of-bounds in the PC version; in fact, a second secret can be found inside the prototype area by opening the leftmost stack of pornographic magazines.
- The moving trains on Rabid Transit have been removed, and the player must instead walk along the tracks from station to station.
- Rabid Transit has been slightly reorganized such that the curved tracks no longer form a loop but instead terminate with the platform containing the Blue Access Card Panel at the left-end and terminate with the Enforcer platform and Yellow Access Card Panel at the right-end.
- A bathroom has been added inside the broadcast station on Fahrenheit and contains a secret exit to Urea 51 that is only accessible by first reaching the normal exit button and then backtracking to the bathroom.
- A new secret level, Urea 51, has been added. (See the main article)
- The swimming pool and waterfall on Hotel Hell have been simply deleted, leaving a strangely empty room with some enemies.
- It is no longer possible to blast through the wall across from the exit button at the end of Hotel Hell, thus removing a well-known shortcut whereby the player was able to throw Pipe Bombs through a crack in the wall.
- Stadium is now smaller and lacks the elevator and goalposts, though the cheerleaders and destructible blimp are still present.
- The secret levels Spin Cycle, Lunatic Fringe, Tier Drops, and Freeway have been cut.
The Sega Saturn port also features a host of changes to enemy behavior:
- Assault Troopers and Assault Captains exhibit streaks of blue in their armor for brief moments during their animation cycles while facing certain directions (Because their sprites are actually stored with blue armor and then recolored at runtime in the PC version, this is likely a mistake that the port's developers failed to correct).
- Pig Cops are slower, fire less frequently, and tend to inflict less damage.
- Octabrains provide a much briefer warning before firing psychic projectiles, and these psychic projectiles move considerably faster and deal much more damage.
- Protozoid Slimers deal damage at a much faster rate.
- Assault Commanders usually fire on-sight and, like the Octabrains, provide a much briefer warning before firing, and their rockets fly much faster and deal much more damage.
- Battlelord Sentries are shorter in stature, and they generally do not fire their weapons for extended periods of time, instead exhibiting a preference for moving towards the player and firing their mortars from closer ranges.
- Nearly all Battlelord Sentries throughout the game have been replaced with one or more Assault Commanders.
Weapons are identical to those in the PC version, except for a few minor changes:
- Although the Mighty Foot is still present, the Quick Kick has been removed, except when automatically triggered by frozen enemies.
- The Pistol has a slightly slower rate of fire.
- Pipe Bombs cannot be thrown nearly as far.
- The Devastator deals more damage.
Secret unlockable game
Duke Nukem 3D for the Sega Saturn contains a secret game that appears on the main menu screen after destroying all toilets in the game. Alternatively, it can also be unlocked by booting Duke Nukem 3D on a console containing saved data from Quake or Powerslave. The unlockable game, titled Death Tank Zwei, is an official sequel to Death Tank. Death Tank Zwei was only ever published as a hidden secret inside the Sega Saturn ports of Duke Nukem 3D and Powerslave, and it never saw an official standalone release. In fact, some fans of the original Death Tank have stated that they only purchased Duke Nukem 3D in order to play the hidden game.
Death Tank Zwei is a singleplayer and multiplayer mini-game in the style of popular titles such as Worms, Scorched Earth, or Pocket Tanks in which players must take turns firing a tank's long-range weapons in order to destroy other tanks.
In the time since Duke Nukem 3D's release, some players have managed to extract Death Tank Zwei from the game's files. An unauthorized, standalone version has been widely distributed in online forums and can be played in a Sega Saturn emulator.
Different cheat codes can be activated depending on certain in-game markers:
On the MAIN MENU after booting the game: LEVEL SELECT: START + X + Y + Z + Z + Y + X + Y + Z + Y DISPLAY MAP COORDINATES: Hold X + Y + Z + L + R until it says “INPUT INFO ON” DISPLAY CONTROLLER INPUTS: Hold X + Y + Z until it says “INPUT INFO ON” On the SKILL LEVEL menu screen: NO MONSTERS: Z + Z + X + X + Y + X + Y + X + Z Immediately upon starting a new level: TUROK-STYLE CONTROLS (“JEVON’S CONTROLS”): START + Y + Y + Z + Z + X + X + Y + X + Z At any point in-game: GOD MODE: START + X + Z + Z + X + Y + X + Y + Z + Y ALL WEAPONS: START + Z + X + X + Z + Y + Z + Y + X + Y
Note that the "LEVEL SELECT" cheat will display the message "CHOOSE A LEVEL CHEAT ON" at the bottom of the screen if correctly entered, but the actual level-select menu will not appear until after selecting "NEW GAME" and then any difficulty setting.