This page refers to the Duke Nukem 3D enemy. For other uses, see here.

The Octabrain is an enemy in Duke Nukem 3D. It is first encountered in the second level of L.A. Meltdown, Red Light District.

Description[edit | edit source]

The Octabrain is a large beige floating brain with tentacles, mean eyes and big teeth. It can expertly use incredible psychic powers, both as a means of movement and as a weapon. It also seems to be the most intelligent enemy in the game, a theory heavily inspired by the size of its brain.

It seems to follow its own agenda, rather than that of the invading aliens. While the other aliens are attacking places and using excessive force to invade Earth, the Octabrain lurks in the shadows. It can often be found guarding nests of Protozoid Slimer Eggs (with babes trapped in slime/vines sometimes nearby), an observation that has grown into the theory that the Octabrain and the Protozoid Slimer are related. It is at home both underwater and on land, and is the most notable underwater-based enemy.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

The Octabrain is a floating three-eyed beige octopus-like creature. Its body seems to be shaped like a human brain, hence this creature's name. It has two ridges of white spikes running along the top of its body from front to back, a large mouth with lots of teeth, and two white spiked mandibles on each side of its mouth. Its beige body has some brown stripes on it. It has a number of short fleshy tentacles, which dangle uselessly below it. It has three large red eyes, with the third eye being above and between the other two.

Combat analysis[edit | edit source]

Weapon effectivenesses
Mighty Foot
18 kicks
30 shots
2 shots
Chaingun Cannon
20 shots
1 rocket
2 pipebombs
1 blast
Microwave Expander
13 shots
1 rocket
Laser Tripbomb
2 mines
7-9 shots
  • Note: The values given for the Shotgun and the explosive weapons are minimum values only.

The Octabrain is a fearsome opponent. As well as being able to levitate and fly anywhere, it is perfectly comfortable underwater, and is therefore the primary underwater enemy.

It attacks in two ways. The first way is to approach its foe and bite at it with its large and vicious mouth. Its second and more common method of attack is to charge up and fire at the foe a projectile orb of purple/red psychokinetic energy, which can cause a significant amount of damage. This attack is dubbed a Mental Blast, for a number of reasons (although it may be called several other things too). Firstly, the Octabrain's appearance of a giant floating brain suggests that it can use significant psychic powers (least of all to use them to levitate). Secondly, when charging the attack, its brain and eyes glow red. Thirdly, there is no indication whatsoever that it is an attack from a mechanical object (i.e. a weapon), so psychic powers are the second explanation.

The Octabrain needs to charge up its Mental Blast attack, a process which takes a second. During that moment, it will flinch if shot, which delays (not cancels) the Blast from being fired. This is a useful thing to remember. Also, the Mental Blast can be dodged, as it travels relatively slowly (about the same speed as a rocket).

The Octabrain will often travel in groups, making it an even more deadly opponent. It is also often found lurking around a number of Protozoid Slimer Eggs, which will then hatch to release yet more enemies to worry about. The Octabrain tends to lurk underwater, in alien/mutated areas and in various other dark and dank areas.

An Octabrain is fairly sturdy, and can take a significant amount of damage, so much that it needs 1 rocket from the RPG to kill it. However, it can be killed by any weapon, even if it may require a sizable amount of ammo in order to do so.

Therefore it's arguably the best choice to use the Shrinker to shrink the Octabrain and then stomp it with the Mighty Foot.

Data[edit | edit source]

Hit points 175
Speed 96
32 (Shrunk)
Pain chance 25% (64/256)
Clipdist 80
Scale 40 x 40
Sprites & sounds
Actor tile number 1820/OCTABRAIN
Alert sound octarg.voc
Action sound octarm.voc
Pain sound octapn.voc
Death sound octady.voc
Mental Blast Attack
Type Projectile
Speed 348
Damage 38
Actor tile number 1360/COOLEXPLOSION1
Sound octaat1.voc
Bite Attack
Type Health access
Rate 0.8 hits/second
Damage 11
Sound octaat2.voc

LameDuke[edit | edit source]

The Octabrain appears in LameDuke as the “Jellyfish”, but is vastly different from its final incarnation in looks and behavior. The LameDuke version is much darker and has a pink brain. Its only attack is to swipe at the player with its front tentacles for no damage.

Concept art for this version of the Octabrain is included with the XBLA version and GoG re-release of Duke Nukem 3D. It shows that the LameDuke Jellyfish was supposed to be able to hide under debris and take control of human remains in order to fire their gun. Obviously, none of these concepts appear in the LameDuke version of the Octabrain.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Pre-Release[edit | edit source]

Retail[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • A common bug can cause a shrunken enemy to behave like a normal (unshrunken) enemy. Because of the shrunken enemy's small size, therefore, it is difficult to kill.
    • The bug is caused when the enemy flinches after being shot in its shrunken state.
  • When Duke kills a babe trapped in a cocoon, an Octabrain will often spawn nearby.
  • What appears to be an early version of the Octabrain appears in LameDuke. It has a smaller brain, longer tentacles and colored differently, giving it a mechanical appearance.
  • Some believe that the Protozoid Slimer is the infant form of the Octabrain.
    • This theory is supported by Octabrains and Protozoid eggs often appearing together in Duke 3D.
  • Despite having 175 health, it is very vulnerable to the Devastator, and requires only one rocket to kill it. This is unusual, as the Enforcer and Pig Cop each require four rockets to kill them, even though they both have just 100 health (but they are wearing armor, while Octabrain is completely unprotected).

Octabrains in other games[edit | edit source]

Duke Nukem 3D
Episodes L.A. MeltdownLunar ApocalypseShrapnel CityThe BirthAlien World Order
Weapons Mighty FootPistolShotgunChaingun CannonRPGPipe BombShrinkerExpander
DevastatorLaser TripbombFreezethrowerIncinerator
Items Access CardsHealth ItemsHolodukeJetpackNight Vision GogglesPortable Medkit
Protective BootsScuba GearSteroids
Enemies Assault CaptainAssault CommanderAssault TrooperBattlelord SentryCycloid Sentry
EnforcerFirefly TrooperOctabrainOverlord SentryPig CopPig Cop Tank
Protector DroneProtozoid SlimerRecon Patrol VehicleSentry DroneSharkTurret
Bosses BattlelordOverlordCycloid EmperorAlien QueenCycloid Incinerator
Editions ClassicAtomic Edition (Plutonium PAK)20th Anniversary World Tour
Expansions Duke AssaultDuke Caribbean: Life's A BeachDuke It Out In D.C.
Duke Nukem 3D Level Design HandbookDuke Nukem's Penthouse ParadiseDuke Xtreme
Duke: Nuclear WinterDuke!ZONEDuke!ZONE 150Duke!ZONE IIUnofficial Expansions
Community High Resolution PackMods & Total ConversionsSource PortsSpeedrunningUser Maps
Other Build EngineCheat CodesDifficultyDuke Nukem (character)Easter EggsMultiplayer
MusicPortsPrototypesQuotesScrapped Content
Episodes Mrr Caliber | Mission Cockroach | Suck Hole | Hard Landing
Items Holoduke | Jetpack | Oxygen Tank | Shield | Steroids
Health: Soda Can | Six-pack
Weapons Tazer | Pistol | Plasma Cannon | Pipe Bomb | RPG | Sonic Resonator
Enemies Bat | Captain | Drone | Drone 2 | Femanoid | Mandroid
Jellyfish | Protozoid Slimer | Shark | Trooper | Turret
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