His most prominent appearance prior to Duke Nukem Forever being released was in Duke Nukem: Advance and his role in this game was probably inspired by his planned role during 3D Realms ongoing development of Duke Nukem Forever; Duke Nukem Advance was the first game to be released where he was given a larger role.
In the 1999 build of Duke Nukem Forever he was probably a commander of Earth Defense Forces (EDF). The General is also in the final version of Duke Nukem Forever, where he is voiced by Bruce DuBose and he also appears in the Doctor Who Cloned me DLC. Another game he features in is Duke Nukem: Critical Mass.
Graves was the man who taught Duke Nukem everything he knows and was his trainer when Duke was in the U.S Army. A good point of this is in Duke Nukem Forever a picture of Duke Nukem in U.S Army gear is seen in Duke Nukem's Lady Killer Casino.
Also Graves admires and knows Duke better than anyone else. Duke is Graves' number 1 choice when all else fails.
Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition
General Graves makes his first appearance in the intro of the fourth and final episode, "The Birth". He is seen showing Duke the footage of aliens breeding the human-alien hybrid, Alien Queen, and sending him on a new mission to destroy it despite Duke's current vacation after killing Cycloid Emperor.
In this instance General Graves is voiced by Jon St. John.
Duke Nukem Forever
In Duke Nukem Forever, the General wears a blue uniform, in contrast to the green one he wear in past games. General Graves and the President both contact Duke in the Duke Cave about the new alien presence. At first, Graves agrees with the President that the aliens may be peaceful, but they quickly prove him to be wrong. Throughout the game, Graves turns down the President's orders and engage hostile aliens in battle with the EDF forces. Graves sends Duke on two missions: save the chicks from the Duke Dome, and later put an end to the invasion in Hoover Dam. General Graves personally appear to give Duke the orders in Lady Killer casino, and later saves him after the Cycloid Emperor is killed.
In this game he has a dark rectangle under his right eye. This is similar in placement and size to the bar codes seen under the eyes of EDF soldiers in some earlier versions of the game's development. The significance of this mark remains a mystery, though both instances bear a resemblance to the tattooed information on the faces of the soldiers in the 1998 Kurt Russell science fiction-action film Soldier.
Duke Nukem Advance
He was Duke's commander in Duke Nukem Advance, as he briefs and debriefs Duke throughout the game. In addition to giving Duke instructions he also commands soldiers in the Earth Defence Force. He often gives Duke Nukem advice throughout the levels and often states the best course of action in a specific situation; in particular he informed Duke Nukem about the impenetrable shields surrounding the Alien Controller that he and the Earth Defence Forces were detecting. Without being told that information it's most likely that Duke Nukem wouldn't have known about the ineffectiveness of his weapons and would've been overrun, since Duke did not possess the ability to analyze the Controller; only General Graves and the Earth Defence Forces with their vast resources and surveillance capabilities could do so.
On occasion he can also intercept alien transmissions or analyze the area Duke Nukem is operating in and then pass vital information on to Duke Nukem. Conversely, there have been occasions where it is Duke Nukem who had to give the General important information, as the General and the Earth Defence Forces will not always be aware of Duke's situation, for example: the collapsing temple in Eygpt. In addition Duke Nukem sometimes has to find his own way to best deal with a situation; for instance though the General informed him about the invulnerable shields protecting the Alien Controller, Duke Nukem had to hit upon the idea of using the large crusher to defeat the Alien Controller.
Duke Nukem: Critical Mass
General Graves is, again, the mission commander. The game begins with the scene where Graves sends Duke into the future, to discover what strange menace claims the lives of his time-traveling agents.
- In an old 1999 trailer and screenshot for Duke Nukem Forever; the General in it also appears to be called General Graves.
- In the Duke Nukem "Balls of Steel" edition artbook it is revealed General Graves' first name is Phil. It also confirms this is meant as a pun on fill Graves as the general fills graves.
- Graves is also known to be married since he remarks that "Mrs Graves" will be happy to know he's alright.