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Neo LA

Neo Los Angeles in Duke Nukem II

Neo Los Angeles is a city in the Duke Nukem universe and the starting location of Duke Nukem II and Duke Nukem 3D.

The city is first officially introduced in Duke Nukem II, when the name "Neo L.A." appears during an opening cutscene. When Duke Nukem revisits the city in Duke Nukem 3D, it is simply denoted as "L.A."

In Duke Nukem 3D, the episode "Shrapnel City" is situated in L.A., suggesting the "Shrapnel City" from Duke Nukem I may have also taken place in Neo Los Angeles.

Description

Neo Los Angeles is both futuristic and anachronistic, with influences from science fiction of the mid-20th century and allusions to events of the 1990s. The city is dystopian and mostly barren, except for the occasional sex workers, Pig Cops, and aliens carrying Googie-style laser guns. Doors are locked by digital keycards rather than lock-and-key mechanisms, and vertical-sliding bay doors can be found throughout the city in pedestrian locations. The local prison and bank both make use of advanced security features such as forcefields and Laser Tripbombs. Bins of nuclear waste are found in many random locations, suggesting widespread reliance on nuclear power. Adult-themed businesses and advertisements are omnipresent, suggesting the city's economy was largely built around this service sector prior to the alien invasion, but even after the aliens invaded, sex workers are frequently found to have their lingerie lined with dollar bills, while aliens stare at them in a trance and defend them when attacked. The city is protected by the Earth Defense Forces, an organization that controls a massive orbiting space station designed to defend the planet from alien invaders.

Prototype screenshots show that futuristic vehicles were designed and originally planned to appear in the city but were ultimately scrapped.

Legacy

The last Duke Nukem game of the mainline series to feature Neo Los Angeles was Duke Nukem 3D. Prototype images of Duke Nukem Forever suggest that similar design elements were planned by director George Broussard for a futuristic Las Vegas, but when the franchise was purchased by Gearbox Software in 2010, the game took a different creative direction, repopulating the world with recycled assets from the scrapped title Duke Begins. Charlie Wiederhold, one of the developers on Duke Nukem Forever, has publicly stated that the team deliberately shifted away from the techno-dystopian elements of Duke Nukem 3D — as exemplified in Broussard's vision for Neo Los Angeles — in order to make the franchise more humorous and tacky, a decision Wiederhold regrets.

In 2019, Ion Fury was published by Voidpoint, which is staffed by the developers of EDuke32. Ion Fury uses the same game engine as Duke Nukem 3D, features a scrapped protagonist from Duke Nukem Forever, and is geographically set in "Neo D.C.," which bears many similarities to Neo L.A. Some fans have described Ion Fury as the true spiritual successor to Duke Nukem 3D.

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