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Duke Nukem DS is an unreleased Nintendo DS port of Duke Nukem Arena.

A leaked prototype of the game was discovered by an anonymous buyer on eBay in April 2020. On May 3, 2020, footage from the game was showcased on the DScapades YouTube channel.

Duke Nukem DS was discovered one month after Duke Nukem Battlefields, another lost adaptation of Duke Nukem Arena.

Relationship to other Duke Nukem games

In his initial YouTube video about the discovery, DScapades misidentified Duke Nukem DS as a port of Duke Nukem Mobile 3D. This misconception stemmed from the fact that Duke Nukem Arena was based on Duke Nukem Mobile 3D and shares many of the same in-game assets. Moreover, little information was publicly available about Duke Nukem mobile games at the time, with outdated articles on the Duke Nukem Wiki contributing to the confusion.

However, the differences between Duke Nukem Mobile 3D and Duke Nukem Arena are significant enough that Duke Nukem DS can be definitively matched to Duke Nukem Arena. Key identifiers include the following:

  • Footage of Duke Nukem DS shows levels from the Depth of Evil singleplayer campaign, first introduced in Duke Nukem Arena. The Depth of Evil campaign consists of levels from the multiplayer game mode that were adapted for singleplayer.
  • Footage of Duke Nukem DS features Robopigs. These enemies were first introduced in Duke Nukem Arena as NPC substitutes to appear on multiplayer levels that were adapted for the Depth of Evil singleplayer campaign.
    • In one scene from the original DScapades video starting at 15:25, DScapades says, "I honestly have no idea what these enemies are. I don't know. Are they like robots or... I don't know." At this point, DScapades is actually referring to Robopigs with flying drones strapped to their backs. These flying Robopigs can be seen more clearly in footage from Duke Nukem Battlefields, but they appear to have been clipped to the ground and rendered stationary in the Nintendo DS port.
  • Most significantly, Duke Nukem DS includes multiplayer functionality. Multiplayer was first introduced in Duke Nukem Arena.
    • In contrast with Duke Nukem DS, Duke Nukem Arena only offered three playable characters: Duke, the Pigcop, and the Paratrooper. In the Nintendo DS port, the Paratrooper's name was corrected to "Assault Trooper" (the canonical name for this enemy in other Duke Nukem games), and a fourth playable character, the Enforcer, was introduced as well.

Current status

Because the Duke Nukem DS prototype was purchased in the form of a development cartridge, the cartridge's owner told DScapades that he was working to extract the cartridge's ROM file. Since then, DScapades has been told by the owner that the game's ROM file has been successfully extracted. However, the owner clarified that he currently has no plans to dump the ROM file online, due to concerns about the cartridge's resale value, but he was still researching options for releasing the ROM file in a way that might not harm the cartridge's resale value.

External links

Videos

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