Duke Nukem Wiki

This page presents the theories and speculations that have arisen about the Duke Nukem universe. Anything written on this page is not definitely true; it is instead an attempt to explain certain features in the Duke Nukem universe.

Relation between the Assault Trooper and Assault Enforcer[]

The Assault Enforcer may be related to the Assault Trooper/Assault Captain, and may even be the same species as them.

+ Their appearances are similar - they are the same size and space, and both are lizard-like.
: - There are also considerable differences in design between the Assault Trooper/Assault Captain and the Assault Enforcer, such as differing head shapes and the Assault Enforcer having white claws.
:: Different breeds of dog and races of human have color and shape differences. The differences could be evidences of individuality in the races otherwise absent because of limitations with the game engine.
The enemies are designed to look fearsome, and there are only so many ways to achieve this (particularly in sprites of such low resolution). They are also intended to look distinctly alien, and again this can only be comfortably achieved in just a few ways. A similarity in their appearances may just be coincidental.
If they are of the same species despite their differing appearances, then it may be due to some development or metamorphisis that occurs later in life (suggesting that the Enforcers are more senior members of their species). Alternatively, these traits may have been genetically engineered or bred into these specific aliens by artificial selection.

These creatures are both part of the "Assault" group.

- That title almost certainly has nothing to do with their genetic relationships, and is likely just a descriptor of what role they play in the invasion of Earth (the "Assault" aliens being those that launch attacks and forcibly expand the alien territory). Further, most enemies have names that are solely descriptive of what they do (e.g. the Protector Drone protects the Alien Queen), which is even more evidence that the names of the aliens is just a descriptor rather than a genus.

Relation between the Assault Commander and the Overlord[]

The Overlord and the Assault Commander may be related, and may even be the same species

+ Their appearances are similar. The positions of their eyes, their bulging mouths and large protruding teeth, the fleshy horns on the top of their heads, skin colour, etc.
: - Their appearances are also somewhat different, most notably that the Overlord has legs while the Assault Commander doesn't (or at least, no visible ones). The Assault Commander is also fat, whereas the Overlord is big and muscular.
These differences could be a result of preferential treatment (an alien designated to become an Overlord may be given more physical training and drugs to become stronger). However, this is entirely speculative, since we know nothing of alien breeding methods.
It's possible that leg amputation is a necessary part of "installing" the unique method of flight utilized by the Assault Commander. It makes sense that not being able to do cardiovascular exercise like running or jogging or even lugging around a huge rocket backpack would make it harder to stay fit.
It's possible that whatever makes an Overlord larger and stronger makes its legs more suitable for hauling around its large mass.
If all alien races are mutated versions of other conquered races like pig cops are of humans and if the species modified to become the Assault Commander and Overlord was originally aquatic or amphibious, then perhaps smaller or underdeveloped mutated members don't have the necessary foot/leg structure for upright locomotion.
Having began as an aquatic species would make their brains more well suited to the three dimensional spacial dynamics and tactics flying entails.
It could simply be a coincidence, due to the artistic difficulties of designing visually unique aliens. If so, similar appearances would mean nothing.

+ They both use explosive projectiles (rockets) as their primary attack method.

This may mean nothing; there are only so many ways to attack in the game.

They are both first introduced in the same episode (Lunar Apocalypse).

Relation between the Protozoid Slimer and Octabrain[]

Protozoid Slimers may be the infant form of Octabrains, such that a Protozoid Slimer grows up and becomes an Octabrain.

+ Octabrains are often found in the same location as Protozoid Slimers and Protozoid Slimer Eggs. This could be a reference to the Octabrain parent(s) caring for its offspring.
: - This could be coincidence. Both of these creatures seem like they belong in the places they are both found in (often dank dark places, and underwater).

+ Protozoid Slimers appear to have large brains inside them, just like an Octabrain does. Also, they both have tentacles (of a sort) and large mouths).

- Of course, there are many differences between their appearances too, such as their colour.
Large mouths can be explained away by noting that all organic enemies have large mouths - this could just be so that they appear threatening. Also, the Protozoid Slimer having a large brain can be explained by reasoning that any sufficiently large organism (even a relatively simple slime monster) must need some kind of brain in order to live at all.

+ Protozoid Slimers have eight tendrils (can be seen once one is latched to Duke's face), as do Octabrains.

Many of the lifeforms that evolved together have similar body shapes. For example: A vast majority of earth's vertebrates have four limbs and bilinear symmetry.
- Octabrains have six tentacles. The name Octabrains could more accurately be replaced with Sexabrains. Octabrain was likely used because of the large brain and resemblance to earth's octopi.

The Protozoid Slimer's function may be similar to that of the Facehugger (from the Alien movies). One is hatched from an Egg, and then finds the nearest foe and attacks and latches itself to its face. When the foe is subdued, the Protozoid Slimer transfers an infant Octabrain into the foe's body, which then develops inside the host and then bursts free at a later time.

This happens only with babes (possibly because they're female, unlike Duke - other aliens the Protozoid Slimer can affect (i.e. consume) are of unknown gender). This is why babes are often found trapped in slime and vines, and is why an Octabrain often spawns when one is killed (not from the babe, though, due to limitations of the games).

- Other enemies can be spawned by killing babes, and enemies can be spawned in the same way because of a number of other triggers (pressing a button, passing a location, etc.).
: Limitations in the games could be the reason why all these spawnings happen in the same way.

There is footage in the 2001 trailer for Duke Nukem Forever showing people with long tendrils spewing from their bodies. These tendrils could belong to developing Octabrains inside their bodies.

We don't know if anything from that trailer is still relevant now.

+ At the beginning of the episode The Birth, a group of Protector Drones can be seen surrounding a woman who is about to give birth (it is implied that the offspring is the Alien Queen).

- This is a different species. Just because Protector Drones do it, doesn't mean Octabrains do. Also, the Alien Queen can spawn Protector Drones without the need of human hosts.
This is a different species. Octabrains may always require host bodies, as opposed to the Protector Drones that just need a host body to give birth to an Alien Queen.

Duke Nukem Forever provides a new cycle for it's Octabrains, much closer to Xenomorph Facehuggers from the Alien movies. The Alien Queen lays eggs, which hatch Pregnators, who impregnate captured babes with Octababies.

Relation between the various Slimes[]

It is possible that Wallcrawlers, Toxic Slime, and/or Protozoid Slimers are all related in some way.

+ All three slime creatures have similar coloring.
: - Their appearances are also quite different; Wallcrawlers are the most unique of the three specimens, but some believe that they are the precursors to Protozoid Slimers anyway.
These differences could be a result of preferential treatment; it could be that the species evolves into different roles either through genetic tampering or drug usage.
- Dr. Proton is not known to have used alien species during his failed invasion attempt, and all other enemies in the game were built by Dr. Proton. At the same time, the Rigelatins and their Toxic Slimes are certainly aliens.
It's entirely possible that Dr. Proton was either working with or controlled by the Rigelatins in the first place, considering his personality was changed by a radiation accident and the Rigelatin's arrival after only a year. As such, Dr. Proton might have built his Wallcrawlers based on Rigelatin technology.
It's entirely possible that Protozoid Slimers, if related to Wallcrawlers in some way, are also not aliens; considering that the aliens are ever only found on Earth and the Moon - the two locations that Dr. Proton himself was seen - may indicate that they are simply evolved Wallcrawlers or a similar species.

Relation between the alien invaders of Duke Nukem 3D[]

All alien species which invaded the Earth during the events of Duke Nukem 3D may be related, and may even be the same species.

+ All members of the invaders have similar appearances. They are all relatively reptilian in appearance, have a similar head, large, protruding teeth, tridactyl limbs (three fingers, three toes), stripes, and relatively similar skin colors.
: - Their appearances are also somewhat different, most notably when comparing most races to the Octabrain or the Alien Queen.
These differences could be a result of preferential treatment; it could be that the species evolves into different roles either through genetic tampering or drug usage.
If the Octabrain-Protozoid Slimer connection is correct, it is possible that the other castes are also created through this process, with each caste being evolved through some different means, perhaps by taking DNA from their host Babes. This would tie them even more to the Xenomorphs of the Alien franchise that they are known to reference.
It could simply be a coincidence, due to the artistic difficulties of designing visually unique aliens. If so, similar appearances would mean nothing.

+ The aliens have at least a passable knowledge among their scientific community of genetic manipulation quite advanced by human standards. They can modify adults of a given species if they have source DNA from another species or at least individual similar enough, genetically. Physical differences aside, they could just be an alien mutant army.

Pig cops.

Alternatively, all the members of alien species that Duke encounters may be mutated members of other conquered species.

+ Pig Cops are explicitly stated to be mutated LAPD officers.
: Pig Cops somewhat resemble wild boars, which can be fearsome if threatened, and pigs are very similar to humans, biologically.
: Generals tend to favor tactics that have worked for them previously. As all the enemies in the game look quite fierce, it is possible that intelligent, social beings the aliens sought to conquer were mutated using fearsome creatures from their home planets to aid in the psychological aspect of warfare. After those campaigns were over, those soldiers were still valuable resources because of their mutations. If their species' females are valuable as breeding material for octabrains, slimes, or whatever else, the possibility of birthing males would lead to many more mutate-able soldiers for future campaigns, like the earth campaign.

The way I see it...[]

The Assault Trooper, Captain, Commander, Battlelord, Overlord, and possibly the Cycloid Emperor, are the same reptilian race - as they all have very similar physical features - and the founding race of the 'Cycloid Empire', but each "caste" is genetically or cybernetically altered in some way. Somewhere along the way they might have come into contact with the Octobrains, and formed some kind of alliance for the Octobrains' intellectual input in the Empire. They attack a planet/ civilization and kidnap its women (DN3D doesn't explicitly state they 'only take the pretty ones', this is said in DNF, but it's more a subjective opinion on Duke's part since he's prone to only notice pretty women - that, and the game doesn't really feature "un-pretty" women anyway). The captive women are transported with the help of the Protozoid Slimers, who enwrap themselves around the women, potentially creating a biosphere to keep them alive in the alien environments (podbabes), and also keeping them "fresh" for later. Based on DN3D and DNF, the 'vines' we see in alien incubators wrap around the captive women, immobilizing them, making it impossible to avoid the Pregnators, who impregnate them with Octobrain semen - hence the presence of the Octobrains in those areas (they guard their potential offsping). Once the incubation process is complete, the Babybrains burst out, and eventually grow into adult Octobrains - if nothing disturbs their aging. In DN3D, the presence of Protozoid Eggs is either a placeholder for the later Pregnators, or the Protozoids (at least, based on the later developments) are there to ensure none of the captive women manage to escape. At least one woman is used to breed the Alien Queen, as seen in The Birth cutscene, though it's unclear where the Drones from the cutscene came from, if there was no Queen prior (or was there, and they just needed a new one? Discuss.) The Protozoid Eggs don't come from the Queen, because she gives birth to the Drones, although the Pregnator eggs do come from her, which again suggests the Protozoid Eggs are a placeholder for the Pregnators, or that it's a different species of Queen alltogether. Now the Drones, to me at least, have always felt like they were robots, biological, but still robots, perhaps they were genetically enginered? Or maybe they're a servile race to the Cycloid. The Assault Enforcer - in my opinion - is not a reptilian, but rather a mamalian creature, it always reminded me of some kind of wolf or lion - its 'leg' even has one of those upper fingers that mamals (dogs, cats) have. The Firefly Troopers have the same body as the Assault Troopers, but their head is more lizard-like, which makes them either a different reptilian race, or a genetically altered 'caste'. The Pig-cops are mutant-humans, obviously. The Turrets and Protector Drones are machines, so their background is pretty simple. Did I miss anything?