For enemies in related Duke Nukem games, see here.

This page lists all enemies found in Duke Nukem 3D, including the Atomic and 20th Anniversary editions.

Common Enemies

Assault Trooper

The Assault Trooper is the lowest-ranked grunt in the alien invasion, armed only with a laser blaster. It is also one of the most common (and thus most reliable) grunts of the entire alien attack force assaulting Earth. Its job is to stay on the front lines and do all the dirty work for its Lord. It is the first alien the player encounters in the game.

The Assault Trooper should not be underestimated. Each Assault Trooper owns a jetpack, and uses it to get closer to the player or to gain the high ground. This makes it rather difficult for the player to flee the battlefield, or to pick them off from above. Also, when attacking in groups the Assault Trooper will try to flank the player, making it more difficult to withdraw to a safer area. Finally, the Assault Trooper is the only enemy in the game that can "play dead", allowing it to make a surprise attack on the player later.


Assault Captain

The Assault Captain's job is to lead the Assault Troopers in battle. Ruthless and cunning, it directs minor battles with ease. It is the same species as the Assault Trooper; its only distinguishing feature is its red armor (which apparently signifies leadership, or at least a higher level of authority than green).

Twice as tough as its underlings, and carrying a small wrist-mounted teleporting device in addition to its laser blaster, the Assault Captain is the master of sneak attacks. Often teleporting itself before the player has seen it, it can come as a nasty shock when it strikes.


Firefly Trooper

20th Anniversary Edition Only

The Firefly doesn't take much punishment but it is still a deadly opponent at close quarters. It is armed with an incinerator that can kill the player in seconds. The Firefly also has the ability to make itself smaller to make it easier to sneak up on the player and like the Assault Trooper it also has a jet pack; however it only uses this when it makes itself smaller and harder to hit. Working...



Space's alternative to the Pig Cop, the Enforcer first appears in the space-based episode Lunar Apocalypse (and is absent from L.A. Meltdown; compare with the Pig Cop, which appears in the first episode but not the second). This dinosaur-like creature is fast on its feet, and is able to leap high into the air, meaning it can give the player quite the run around.

It is equipped with a deadly chaingun cannon, which is either worn over its right arm or, more likely, replaces it. Its spit is also very harmful to humans, making it a dangerous opponent. However, it will stop attacking on occasion to defecate, a distraction which the player may use to their advantage.


Assault Commander

The Assault Commander is the most dangerous alien in the "Assault" group. Stronger and deadlier than the other "Assault" troops, the Assault Commander sits on a flotation platform commanding its forces via a radio headset. When facing an enemy itself, it will often taunt them with evil throaty laughter and phrases such as, "Suck it down!". It is one of the most dangerous enemies in the game.

It has the unusual ability to create and/or store explosive rockets within its body, and happily fires them at its enemies in rapid succession from what appears to be its rectum. It can also use its spiked flotation platform as a melee weapon by spinning rapidly and ramming into its foes, slashing them.


Battlelord Sentry

It has masses of health and arsenal as large as its big brother's. However, it is smaller than the Battlelord, and so is unable to crush foes below its feet, but that's small consolation to anything unfortunate enough to run into it.

It is deadly accurate with its chaingun, and the explosive mortars it generously fires around are an extreme health hazard. Its chilling howl only adds to the terrifying experience of encountering one.


Pig Cop

Pig Cops are muscular humanoid boars, mutated from LAPD officers shortly before the beginning of Duke Nukem 3D. It appears only in Earth-based levels (and thus not at all in Lunar Apocalypse, except as a single corpse found in Dark Side). Tough and fearsome, the Pig Cop is one of the most well-known enemies in the game.

They are cunning in battle, often dropping to the ground to make themselves smaller targets while they fire their shotguns at their victims.

The Pig Cop retains much of the knowledge and intelligence of the human that mutated into it, but thanks to the alien influence they have been turned against humanity. They can speak but choose to do so rarely, instead producing a variety of squeals and grunts. They have at least two vehicles (the RPV and the Tank) at their disposal.


Recon Patrol Vehicle (RPV)

The Recon Patrol Vehicle is a quick and agile reconnaissance flying vehicle, formerly owned by the LAPD but now in the hands of the Pig Cops. Armed with twin laser blasters and minimal armor, the RPV cannot take much damage, but its maneuverability easily makes up for it. It can effortlessly dodge projectile weapons (such as rockets), making it very difficult to hit with anything powerful enough to do it serious damage.

Its main use is for patrolling and scouting outdoor areas. It has a set flight plan, and will protect the area in which it flies by firing upon intruders with its twin laser blasters. It is often to be found flying around city streets a few metres above them, although it may be assigned to other locations as well. It flies high in the air to allow the sturdy underside of the vehicle to take shots from below, thereby protecting the exposed pilot.

The RPV is equipped with a jettison device which automatically ejects the pilot (a Pig Cop) when it is destroyed and spiralling to the ground. This makes it two enemies in one, and all the more dangerous for it.


Pig Cop Tank

Atomic Edition Only

The Pig Cop Tank is the natural counterpart to the Recon Patrol Vehicle. Where the RPV is fast and maneuverable, the Pig Cop Tank is slow and clumsy. It is a land-based vehicle, and has a lot more fire-power than the RPV to make up for its comparatively poor agility. It is heavily armored, so it can take a lot of damage. When it is destroyed, there is a 50% chance that its driver will escape unharmed. As the vehicle's name suggests, its driver is a Pig Cop.

A notable feature of the Pig Cop Tank, aside from its devastating weaponry and armoring, is the button on its back. It is a self-destruct button, and allows a sure-fire and simple way of destroying it (provided one can get close enough to press it).


Protozoid Slimer

The Protozoid Slimer is a nasty little creature. It may not seem very menacing from a distance, and indeed it isn't, but when it has latched itself to your head and is biting your face off, you'll think differently. These soft puddles of green goo are very stretchy, and often swarm in great numbers and attack their enemy without warning by dropping onto them from the ceiling.

Protozoid Slimers hatch from Protozoid Slimer Eggs (as the name suggests). The Egg technically counts as an enemy, but has no function other than to incubate a vicious Protozoid Slimer.These enemies are very surprising. Watch out! Check twice after you think you've killed one or you may end up with a Protozoid Slimer on your face!



The Octabrain is a large beige floating brain with tentacles, mean eyes and big teeth. It can expertly use incredible psychic powers, both as a means of movement and as a weapon.

It seems to follow its own agenda, rather than that of the invading aliens. While the other aliens are attacking places and using excessive force to invade Earth, the Octabrain lurks in the shadows. It can often be found guarding nests of Protozoid Slimer Eggs (with babes trapped in slime/vines sometimes nearby), an observation that has grown into the theory that the Octabrain and the Protozoid Slimer are related. It is at home both underwater and on land, and is the most notable underwater-based enemy.


Protector Drone

Atomic Edition Only

The Protector Drone is a very dangerous enemy. It is very quick-moving, has powerful slashes, can take a beating, and it can disable its foe with a single shot of its Shrink Blast. This lean beast is not for underestimating but, preferably, for termination with extreme hostility.

This monster is the spawn of the Alien Queen herself, and apparently the opposite can be said to be true as well, since a horde of Protector Drones were seen in the video footage at the start of the fourth episode surrounding a very pregnant woman about to give birth (presumably to the Alien Queen herself). The Protector Drone is charged solely with protecting the Alien Queen and her domain, and it is very determined to carry out that duty.


Cycloid Sentry

20th Anniversary Edition Only

The Cycloid Sentry, is a mini boss version of the Cycloid Emperor. He has the same attacks as his boss counterpart.


Overlord Sentry

20th Anniversary Edition Only

The Overlord Sentry is a smaller and weaker version of its bigger cousin that appears some time after its defeat. The Overlord Sentry wields two built-in rocket launchers.



The Shark is a fearsome predator that strikes terror into the hearts of men. It attacks without warning, inflicts massive damage on its prey and disappears just as swiftly.

At least, that's how they should be. Unfortunately, these creatures are overshadowed by the alien invasion, which relegates the Shark to the position of "weakest enemy". Either because they are so weak in comparison, or the aliens' possible aversion to water, or because of a simple oversight, the Shark has not been recruited into the alien ranks. The Shark is the only creature in the game that is not in league with the alien invasion, and will attack Duke Nukem just because it wants to.



The Turret is the security measure of choice. It is a fixed structure that fires laser blasts at any enemy unfortunate enough to come into range (and it has a large range). Often used to protect military installations, important areas, or just to make Duke's life annoying, the Turret is often mounted in inconspicuous places that make it hard to spot, most often on ceilings and other overhead architecture. They inflict significant damage and are deadly accurate.

The Turret used to be a force for good (or rather, for the military), but the aliens have reprogrammed them to see humans as enemies instead of them.


Sentry Drone

The Sentry Drone is a flying robotic suicide bomber. When you hear its antigrav engines revving up, you know you're in for a world of hurt.

It is a highly intelligent machine, capable of evading incoming fire to ensure that it reaches its target to deliver its payload. Other than its explosive payload, it has no weaponry, and makes up for this with a tough armored shell. It is fast-moving, and designed to deliver pain where it's not welcome. It appears to be a human invention like the Turret, but reprogrammed by the aliens to see humans as enemies.




The Battlelord is a massive armored beast that wields a chaingun with a built-in mortar launcher. Its chaingun is also significantly more powerful than the Enforcer's. They were also the only boss enemy with an official mini counterpart until the release of the Anniversary Edition.



The Overlord is large-headed monster who wields two built-in rocket launchers. Every rocket is as powerful as the RPG.


Cycloid Emperor

The Cycloid Emperor is a one-eyed beast (similar to a cyclops from Greek mythology). He attacks the player with a rapid-spread version of the Octabrain's mental blast at close range. He will also fire a large barrage of missiles at a distance, with the exact amount of damage inflicted as Duke's RPG. He is also fought as the boss of the expansion packs Duke It Out In D.C. and Duke: Life's a Beach.


Alien Queen

Atomic Edition Only

The Alien Queen resides in an underwater chamber guarded by Protector Drones and Octabrains. To reach the Alien Queen, the player must first cross a highly toxic canal before reaching a pool that leads to the Queen's underwater chamber. She is the only boss in the game that doesn't have a Sentry counterpart appear in game.


Cycloid Incinerator

20th Anniversary Edition Only

The Cycloid Incinerator is very similar to his original counterpart, the Cycloid Emperor, but is red in color and is armed with a flamethrower instead of rocket launcher. He attacks with a short ranged flame strike. He also can spray fire, like the player with the Incinerator, or spawn two Firefly Troopers.

Inferno Cycloid Emperor.png
Duke Nukem 3D
Episodes L.A. Meltdown | Lunar Apocalypse | Shrapnel City
Plutonium PAK: The Birth
Anniversary Edition: Alien World Order
Items Access Card | Holoduke | Jetpack | Night Vision Goggles | Portable Medkit
Protective Boots | Scuba Gear | Steroids
Health: Small Medkit | Large Medkit | Atomic Health | Armor
Scrapped: Space Suit | Shield
Weapons Mighty Foot | Pistol | Shotgun | Chaingun Cannon | RPG | Pipe Bomb | Shrinker
Expander | Devastator | Laser Tripbomb | Freezethrower | Incinerator
Scrapped: Flamethrower | Laser Chainsaw | Sonic Resonator | Tazer | Plasma Cannon
Enemies Common enemies: Assault Captain | Assault Commander | Enforcer | Assault Trooper | Battlelord Sentry | Octabrain | Pig Cop | Protozoid Slimer | Recon Patrol Vehicle | Sentry Drone | Shark | Turret
Plutonium PAK: Pig Cop Tank | Protector Drone
Anniversary Edition: Firefly Trooper | Cycloid Sentry | Overlord Sentry
Bosses: Battlelord | Overlord | Cycloid Emperor
Plutonium PAK: Alien Queen
Anniversary Edition: Cycloid Incinerator
Scrapped: Alien Queen Sentry | Bat | Captain | Drone | Drone 2 | Femanoid | Mandroid
Organic Turret | Scorpion Tank | Snake Head | Trooper | Turret
Expansion packs
and add-ons
Duke Assault | Duke Nukem 3D Level Design Handbook (CD levels) | Duke Caribbean: Life's A Beach | Duke: Nuclear Winter | Duke It Out In D.C.
Duke Xtreme | Duke!ZONE | Duke!ZONE 150 | Duke!ZONE II | Plutonium PAK | Duke Nukem's Penthouse Paradise | Unofficial expansion packs
Fan community User maps | Mods & Total Conversions | Speedruns
Source ports | High Resolution Pack
Other Difficulty | Hazards | Multiplayer | Cheat codes | Easter eggs
Quotes | Music | Duke Nukem
Build engine | Game bugs | Unused data | LameDuke
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