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Duke Nukem Forever, also known as Duke Nukem 4Ever, was an abandoned platformer game in the Duke Nukem series. The game was planned to draw inspiration from Duke Nukem I and Duke Nukem II, both of which were platformers, while retaining the interactivity and character that made the series popular in Duke Nukem 3D.

On December 26, 2022, x0r_jmp posted a RAR file with four playable builds to Rentry.org, which remains publicly available to download.


Duke Nukem Forever entered development shortly after the release of Duke Nukem 3D, until 3D Realms ultimately canceled it. The game’s cancellation wasn’t publicly announced until 1997, when 3D Realms revealed that the game's title would be reused for their sequel to Duke Nukem 3D.

After the project was abandoned, the game engine was incorporated into Ravager, another game that was being developed by 3D Realms. However, Ravager was sold to Inner Circle Creations, who released it under the title Alien Rampage in 1996.

The concept of a 3D Duke Nukem side-scroller was eventually revisited in the 2002 game Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project.

Prototype builds

On December 26, 2022, x0r_jmp released four prototype builds of the canceled game:

  • October 8, 1996 build
  • October 21, 1996 build
  • October 24, 1996 build
  • November 8, 1996 build

The post on Rentry.org included the message: "Merry Christmas". The prototypes remain freely available to download.


Duke Nukem Forever features side-scrolling mechanics in the style of Duke Nukem I and Duke Nukem II but an aesthetic inspired by Duke Nukem 3D. Based on early reporting, the game was said to have four multiplayer modes: Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, a wave-based survival mode ("Trial of Strength"), and a racing simulation ("Trial of Agility").


Dr. Proton has set several large explosives in key locations along the San Andreas Fault. His plan is to separate the coast of California from the mainland and to form an independent country dubbed "Proton Island," establishing himself as its dictator. The president, only too happy to wash his hands of the West Coast, doesn't bother to send the military. With the army staying out of it, Superman tries to foil Dr. Proton's scheme. However, Superman fails, apparently due to a lack of fan interest. In steps Duke Nukem.

While in Washington, D.C. being awarded with medals for stopping the Alien invasion, Duke is told of the assault. Realizing that the president isn't going to take action, Duke decides to take it upon himself to liberate Proton Island. Granted, Duke is partly motivated by the fact that he owns a condo in Malibu.

Weapons and items

Duke Nukem Forever was to include a wide array of weapons, most of which would have been returning favorites from Duke Nukem 3D. The weapons range from the Mighty Boot, a melee weapon, to more exotic weapons such as the Shrink Ray, a weapon which is fairly unique to the series. In addition to the usual weapon pickups was the implementation of a super weapon. This weapon, dubbed the "Heavy Barrel," was divided into five parts for Duke to collect. Upon assembling all five parts, Duke would be able to wield the weapon, which featured unlimited ammo and devastating power for a short period of time.

In addition to the arsenal, Duke Nukem Forever also would have featured several items that could either be accessed through an in-game inventory or immediately consumed upon pickup. The items displayed in the inventory would have been special pickups that Duke could collect throughout the level, ranging from cloaking devices to medkits. The regular pickups, on the other hand, would have instantly supplied health or ammo.


Duke Nukem Forever was to see the return of Dr. Proton, accompanied by a new breed of mechanical cyborgs known as Protonites. The Protonites would have supplied the bulk of enemy forces in the game, ranging in appearance from humanoids to animals and insects. These enemies would have varied in their attack ranges and battle damage. Some Protonites also would have had the ability to operate vehicles and machinery, which would have been the focus of several vehicle-based levels in the game.

In addition to the Protonites, the game also would have featured level-specific enemies, usually in the form of wild animals. The purpose of these enemies was primarily to add ambiance to the environment, with enemies such as crabs or seagulls, rather than to present additional challenges.

Finally, the game also would have included boss enemies at the ends of episodes, with the final boss being Dr. Proton himself.


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