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Merc: Fatal Reality (also known as MERC: Fatal Reality or simply MERC) is a total conversion for Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition. It was created by The Total Conversion Masters (abbreviated as TCM) and released on September 5th, 1997. A version for the Macintosh was released on May 30th, 1999 by J. Driver. The latest version of the mod is version 1.4. Merc: Fatal Reality features new levels, new graphics, new sound effects, new weapons, new music, and a new boss. The Total Conversion Masters released a sequel, Merc 2, the following year on August 31st, 1998. Ryan Conner (a.k.a. Heyyo) re-released Merc: Fatal Reality and Merc 2 for the EDuke32 source port on May 20th, 2009.

To play the mod with a source port, such as EDuke32, do the following steps:

1. Install the mod (this must be done in MS-DOS or a DOS compatible program such as DOSBox) by placing the mod's executable file (merc14.exe) into your Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition directory (directory = folder) and running the executable file.

2. After the mod has been installed, run the MERC.BAT file; this will place all of the files necessary to play the mod into your Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition directory and allow the mod to be played in MS-DOS. If you have any .ART files in your Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition directory, they will need to be deleted prior to installing Merc: Fatal Reality; if any .ART files are present, the MERC.BAT file will not be able to run Merc: Fatal Reality.

3. While the mod is playing (this is done after the mod has put all of the necessary files into your Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition directory), go to your Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition directory and copy and paste the following nine files into a new folder (the new folder can be named anything you want; for the sake of simplicity, this 'example' folder will be named "MERCFR"):

  • mdemo1.dmo
  • mdemo2.dmo
  • mdemo3.dmo
  • MERC14.CON
  • merc14.exe
  • MERC14.GRP
  • MERC14.TXT

4. Right click on the MERC.BAT file, then choose edit. You will see the following text appear in the file:

duke3d /xmerc14.con /gmerc14.grp %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8

Edit the text so it displays the following:

eduke32 /xmerc14.con /gmerc14.grp %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8

This will allow it to access EDuke32.exe. Save the modified MERC.BAT file after editing it.

5. Copy and paste the MERCFR folder into your EDuke32 folder, then copy and paste all of the mod's files from inside of the MERCFR folder into your EDuke32 folder.

6. Run MERC.BAT from inside your EDuke32 folder with the custom game content directory settings on the "MERCFR" option.


Duke Nukem, a member of MERC (Major Endangerment Restraining Crew), receives a floppy disk from the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.). The file on the disk explains that there is a terrorist organization known as Fugitives Against Justice (F.A.J.). Duke goes to various locations such as Ebilcity, a secret hideout in a steel factory in a desert, a drug facility in the Mohab desert, and a prison on Alcatraz Island to eliminate them.

Later, Duke receives a message informing him of other members of the F.A.J. After Duke kills the members who planned to set up a base of operations in a movie theater cinema, Duke is told to go to a rundown warehouse to deactivate the building's defenses and destroy it. Once this is completed, he destroys the organization's giant robot, seemingly putting an end to the F.A.J. As a reward for his heroics, Duke is given a vacation by the C.I.A.


Merc: Fatal Reality began development as Project MERC. Ryan Conner created a modding group online known as The Total Conversion Masters, with multiple level designers, CON file programmers, and artists contributing to the mod. The Total Conversion Masters eventually had over a dozen people on the team to finish Merc: Fatal Reality.


  • Mighty Foot
  • Sub Machine Gun (uses a new sprite, Pistol replacement)
  • Shotgun
  • Minigun (uses a new sprite, Chaingun Cannon replacement)
  • RPG
  • Pipe Bomb
  • Electricity Gun (uses a new sprite, Shrinker replacement)
  • Radiation Gun (uses a new sprite, Microwave Expander replacement)
  • Devastator
  • Laser Tripbomb
  • Flamethrower (uses a new sprite, Freezethrower replacement)


Merc: Fatal Reality has 12 levels for both single player and DukeMatch (the levels "In the Gutter" and "Matinee Maul" are DukeMatch exclusive levels in Merc 2).

Episode 1: Fatal Reality[]

  • Your Apartment
  • Suburban Slaughter
  • Compound of Death
  • Your Apartment
  • Drug Bust
  • The Rock

Episode 2: Into the City[]

  • Your Apartment
  • In the Gutter
  • Matinee Maul
  • Your Apartment
  • Big Guns
  • Final Confrontation


Main Creator: Ryan Conner (a.k.a. Heyyo)

Webmaster: Ryan Conner

CON Hackers: Ryan Conner, Keith Vicary (a.k.a. Head Honcho)

Artists: Ryan Conner, Michael Forshay, Andrew Pauxtis (a.k.a. BloodMaster)

New Enemy Art: Obtained from 3D Realms' LameDuke prototype (Robot guy and Army guy enemy art) and modified by Ryan Conner (modified the Robot guy and Tank enemy art), Burton Parker (the first frame of the Guy in Suit enemy was created by Burton Parker, the remaining frames were created by Ryan Conner)

New Weapon Art: Ryan Conner (made the Electricity Gun and Radiation Gun graphics, modified the Flamethrower graphics (the Flamethrower graphics were from Marathon 2: Durandal by Bungie), modified the Minigun graphics), Ian Jones (Sub Machine Gun graphics obtained from Ian Jones' mp5k.zip folder)

MIDIs: Bryan Scanzoni

Level Designers: Chris Abdo (Drug Bust), Al (a.k.a. Venom) (Big Guns), Ryan Conner (Your Apartment), Mikolaj Franaszczuk (a.k.a. The Phantom) (Compound of Death), Bill Gallop (a.k.a. Ebil Fish) (Suburban Slaughter, Final Confrontation), Harrison Norby (a.k.a. Zodiac) (Matinee Maul), Corey VanderLaan (a.k.a. Shadowpaw) (The Rock), Matt Yohe (In the Gutter).

Special Thanks To: Ken Silverman (the creator of build and editart), Bill Gallop (for providing TCM with a public forum), Chris Abdo (for providing space for MERC on his ftp site), all of the level designers who made MERC possible, and, of course, the great people at 3dRealms.

Copyright 1997 TCM

Credits information sources: "Credits" menu included in Merc: Fatal Reality and the "Credits" section of the merc14.txt file.