Duke Nukem Wiki

Duke Nukem II is the sequel to Duke Nukem. It was developed and published by Apogee Software on December 3, 1993.

In 2013, the game was briefly available for purchase through Steam, the iOS App Store, and later GOG.com. Since Gearbox Software's acquisition of Duke Nukem in 2015, Duke Nukem II has only been available for purchase through the ZOOM Platform, launched in collaboration with Scott Miller.

Duke Nukem II was followed by Duke Nukem 3D in 1996.


A year after his victory over Dr. Proton, Duke is advertising his latest book, Why I'm So Great, when he is suddenly abducted during a talk show by the evil Rigelatins, an alien race willing to conquer Earth and enslave the human race. The Rigelatin emperor reveals to Duke that they plan to take his brains and use it to direct their conquest. However, while waiting for being decerebrated, Duke manages to escape using his secret explodo-molar to destroy the bars of his cell, and finds a gun directly outside.

From then on, Duke fights his way across the surface of Rigel, encountering many Rigelatin minions, and eventually destroys the energy reactor of one of the planet's cities (causing massive destruction within the city itself), before venturing deep under the surface of the planet, killing a few Rigelatin commanders in the process. Finally managing to come back to the surface in a mountain range, Duke assists to the taking off of the Rigelatin battleship, heading to Earth. He barely manages to make it aboard, and then fights his way up until reaching the cockpit, destroying the Rigelatin commander and putting an end to their threat. Sealing off the rest of the ship, Duke admires Earth and contemplates taking it over as "King Duke", before acknowledging that it doesn't sound right. He then sets off to land on Earth, leading directly into the events of Duke Nukem 3D.


Duke Nukem II is a side-scroller like the original, except with many new features and more interactivity. The player's goal is to proceed through the levels, taking advantage of the weapons, health items, and power-ups.

The game is very similar to the original, with improved graphics, sloped surfaces and the notable ability to fire upwards and downwards.

Duke Nukem is on foot throughout most of the game, but some levels have him inside a vehicle. The game is split into four episodes, each consisting of 8 levels. In the last level of each episode, the player faces a Rigelatin as a boss.


A Duke Nukem II arcade machine as seen in the first level of Duke Nukem 3D.


Weapons are found in green crates and look like round coins with one of four letters on them:

  • Normal Weapon (N): A short red blast that is effective against many types of enemies. The default weapon for the game. (Ammo = Infinite)
  • Flamethrower (F): A typical flamethrower weapon. It quickly uses ammo, which is why it has twice as much as the other weapons. When fired downwards, it can be used to propel Duke into the air. (Ammo = 64)
  • Laser (L): A large blue laser that passes through multiple enemies and walls (but disappears when it leaves the screen), and is slightly more powerful than the default weapon. (Ammo = 32)
  • Rocket Launcher (R): This weapon fires a rocket, which explodes upon impact, causing massive damage. It is the most powerful weapon in the game, and can kill nearly all enemies with one shot. (Ammo = 32)

The weapons and ammo are carried with Duke Nukem to the next level.


Main article: Items (DN2)

Items commonly found in Duke Nukem II include:

  • Soda Can: (In red crates) Gives one health. If the player does not wish to take health, they may instead shoot it, thereby blasting into the air, and then catch it to earn 2,000 points.
  • Six-Pack: (In red crates) Worth six health units. It may be shot for 10,000 points.
  • Turkey: (In red crates) Moves quickly once released. This is worth one health. If it is shot before touched, it transforms into a cooked turkey, worth two health units.
  • Atomic Health: (In blue crates) Worth one health unit. If the player has full health when they touch it, they earn 10,000 points.
  • Glass Orbs: Depending on their color, they are good for a set number of points (Blue = 500, Red = 2,000, Green = 5,000, White = 10,000). If they are shot them, they break, and the player only receives 100 points, regardless of color. However, destroying all the orbs in the level calls for one of the secret bonuses (see below).
  • Letters: (In blue crates) Big Letters which spell out the word "NUKEM" are located in every level. Collecting them in order grants 100,000 points. If all are collected in mixed order, only 10,000 points are granted.
  • Crystal Ball: Hidden in many levels, it is worth 10,000 points. If it is returned to the pedestal hidden elsewhere in the level, the player receives 50,000 points and a helpful hint. The crystal ball can also be destroyed for a bonus at the end of the level.

Secret Bonuses[]

There are seven secret bonuses that a player can get upon completing a level. They are worth 100,000 points each:

  1. Destroy all surveillance cameras
  2. Take no damage
  3. Collect every weapon
  4. Collect all merchandise
  5. Destroy all spinning turret gun drones
  6. Destroy all bombs
  7. Destroy all Crystal Balls without touching them (including the Hint Sphere)

Additionally, collecting all of the letters N-U-K-E-M in sequential order also grants 100,000 bonus points. Collecting them out of order still gives the player 10,000 points.

Differences between releases[]


Rigel Engine — Duke Nukem II in Widescreen!

The Steam/iOS version has a few differences from the original/GoG release of the game:

  • Duke now wears glasses.
  • The information box on the right status bar that showed the help keys has been replaced with a portrait of Duke.
  • Although not part of the game's files, the Duke Nukem II poster now shows a completely new artwork, using Duke's modern appearance.

A reverse engineered source port for the game exists called the Rigel Engine, as well as an accurate source reconstruction. The former has been used as the basis for a commercial re-release of the game, alongside Duke Nukem I, for the Evercade handheld in October 2023.


Alternate box covers[]

External links[]

Duke Nukem II
Episodes Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4
Other Weapons | Items | Enemies | Cheat codes | Quotes | Duke Nukem (character)