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This page refers to a scrapped weapon from early prototypes of Duke Nukem 3D. For other uses, see here.

The Flamethrower is a scrapped weapon that appeared in early prototypes of Duke Nukem 3D.


Although the Flamethrower was scrapped from the final version of the game, code for the Flamethrower can still be found in the beta v0.99 prototype. The weapon can be accessed using cheats; after giving oneself all weapons and ammo, depleting the ammo of all other weapons will allow one to use the Flamethrower. It behaves consistently with information known about the late November 1995 prototype, but it does not have a first-person sprite. Specifically, it causes enemies to switch to a darker palette and become slightly larger when hit by the Flamethrower's projectiles. When killed, enemies die as normal, but a flame effect appears over their corpses. The message “COOK ‘EM GOOD!” momentarily appears at the top of the screen when the Flamethrower is fired.

Development history

See Also: Duke Nukem 3D prototypes

Before the beta v0.99 prototype was released in January 1996, the Flamethrower could also be seen in screenshots from the 1995 prototypes.

One screenshot from the May 1995 prototype shows the Flamethrower on Dark Side, moments after firing at a Drone from LameDuke. This is the only screenshot to show flames produced by the Flamethrower; the flames appear scattered on the ground around the Drone. This image is also notable for featuring a blue light atop the weapon. Subsequent images show a red light.


Another screenshot appears to show the Flamethrower in front of the bar on E1L6 of LameDuke. This screenshot, which was also released in June 1995, shows the Flamethrower with a red light. However, this Flamethrower still lacks the frosted edge around the rim of the cannon, as seen on the Freezethrower in the final release. It can be inferred that this image came after the previous image because all subsequent images use the red light.


In the May 9, 1995 demo footage, the Flamethrower is shown firing at Troopers on Warp Factor and producing a ball of fire at the front of weapon before causing a fiery explosion, scattering flames around the Troopers.

Screenshots from the November 1995 prototype also show the Flamethrower. The image on the left shows that the Flamethrower corresponded to weapon slot number 8 in the HUD and could carry up to 99 ammo. The image on the right shows the weapon in better lighting. Both images come from an early build of Warp Factor.


As explained in the Overview above, the Flamethrower in beta v0.99 does not produce fiery explosions on impact; instead, it merely turns enemies red and, after killing them, spawns a flame on their corpses. This transition happened sometime before late November 1995. The two screenshots below come from a late November 1995 prototype played by Richard "TerminX" Gobeille, who signed a non-disclosure agreement and was given an archive of Duke Nukem 3D development data. He shared these screenshots online and stated that the Flamethrower in this version behaves identically to the one in beta v0.99.


As can be gathered from all of these screenshots, the Flamethrower's first-person weapon sprite was repurposed as the Freezethrower in the final game, though frost was added to the rim of the cannon. Given that the weapon still appeared as late as beta v0.99 in January 1996, the switch to the Freezethrower must have occurred very late in development, since the final game was released April 1996.

More pre-release screenshots and information can be found in the Duke Nukem 3D prototypes article.

Reprisal in the 20th Anniversary Edition


The Flamethrower has been revisited in subsequent Duke Nukem games. Most notably, Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour introduced the Incinerator, a new weapon inspired by the Flamethrower.

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