Codex Gamicus
Duke Nukem
Basic Information
Apogee Software, 3D Realms, Frontline Studios, Koch Media, Sunstorm Interactive, n-Space, Eurocom, Torus Games, Gearbox Software, MachineWorks Northwest, Aardvark Software, Triptych Games, Piranha Games, Lobotomy Software, Tiger Electronics
3D Realms, Deep Silver, Apogee Software, Take-Two Interactive Software, 2K Games, Arush Entertainment, Infogrames Europe SA, GT Interactive, U.S. Gold, FormGen, MachineWorks Northwest LLC, King Records, SEGA of America, Tec Toy Indústria de Brinquedos S.A., MacSoft Games, Infrogrames, Skyzone Entertainment
First-person Shooter
MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation, Nintendo 64 and Saturn

Duke Nukem is a video game series focusing on its protagonist, Duke Nukem. Originally created by Apogee Software Ltd./3D Realms as a series of video games for the PC, the franchise expanded to games released for various consoles by third party developers. In 2010 the rights to the franchise moved to the hands of Gearbox Software[1] who will complete the development of Duke Nukem Forever and release it in 2011.


Main Series[]

Computer games[]

Title Year Released Platforms
Duke Nukem Episode One: "Sharpnel City" 1991 MS-DOS
Duke Nukem Episode Two: "Mission: Moonbase" 1991 MS-DOS
Duke Nukem Episode Three: "Trapped in the Future!" 1991 MS-DOS
Duke Nukem II 1993 MS-DOS
Duke Nukem 3D 1996 MS-DOS, Mac OS
Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project 2002 Microsoft Windows
Duke Nukem Forever 2011 Microsoft Windows
Duke Begins[2][3] TBA Microsoft Windows

Console games[]

Title Year Released Platforms
Duke Nukem 64 1997 Saturn
Duke Nukem: Total Meltdown 1997 PlayStation
Duke Nukem 3D 1998 Genesis/Mega Drive
Duke Nukem: Time to Kill 1998 PlayStation
Duke Nukem: Zero Hour 1999 Nintendo 64
Duke Nukem: Land of the Babes 2000 PlayStation
Duke Nukem 3D 2008 Xbox Live Arcade
Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project 2010 Xbox Live Arcade
Duke Nukem Forever 2011 Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Handheld games[]

Title Year Released Platforms
Duke Nukem 3D 1997
Duke Nukem 1999 Game Boy Color
Duke Nukem Advance 2002 Game Boy Advance
Duke Nukem Mobile 3D 2004 Mobile Phone
Duke Nukem Mobile 2005 Tapwave Zodiac
Duke Nukem Mobile: Bikini Project 2005 Mobile Phone
Duke Nukem Arena 2007 Mobile Phone
Duke Nukem 3D 2009 iOS, Nokia
Duke Nukem Trilogy TBA Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable

Other Games[]

Other games in which Duke Nukem appears.

Title Year Released Platforms
Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure 1992 MS-DOS
Bio Menace 1993 MS-DOS
Death Rally 1996 MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows
Balls of Steel 1997 Microsoft Windows, Mac OS


See Also: Duke Nukem#Technical implementation, Duke Nukem 3D#Development, Duke Nukem Forever#Development history


The series has always been largely popular, with Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem II being the first two titles. The games, along with Commander Keen, helped make the platformer genre popular on the personal computer, as against games like Super Mario Bros. for video game consoles such as those by Nintendo.[4]

However, the games really broke out of the shareware niche and into the mainstream gamer audience with Duke Nukem 3D, which also brought the series to the forefront of video game controversy. The game, like others such as Star Wars: Dark Forces, was one of the first titles considered to match Doom in quality. The Build engine used in 3D has also become one of the most popular engines ever, in terms of games using it. Duke Nukem 3D was controversial because of its depictions of sexuality, pornography, obscenities, graphic violence, drug use, and other taboo topics. This caused the game to be banned in Brazil and in other countries the sale of the game was strictly regulated against purchase by minors. Despite this, Duke Nukem 3D was a commercial and critical success for Realms.[4]

Duke Nukem Forever has been in development hell since 1997 which has drawn a number of jokes related to its development timeline. The video gaming media and public in general have routinely suggested several names in place of Forever, calling it "Never", "(Taking) Forever", "Whenever", "ForNever", "Neverever", and "If Ever". Many fans have noted that the game's initials also stand for Did Not Finish which is an acronym widely used in motorsports to denote cars which didn't reach the finish line (usually due to mechanical failure or crash). The game has also won a wide variety of "vaporware awards"[5][6][7] and the game has a permanent place in video game culture. However, people who have actually played parts of the game, such as Jace Hall, have complimented the game.[8]

Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project generally received positive reviews in the video game press, with rankings around 7/10 and of 80 out 100. However, the game did not sell as well as hoped, and its developer Sunstorm Interactive is no longer in existence. Duke Nukem Advance also received quite favorable reviews.


  2. Court Filing: 2KGames Developing "Duke Begins". GamePolitics. Retrieved on 2009-12-21
  3. Duke Begins developer revealed to be Gearbox Software. (2009-07-14). Retrieved on 2009-12-21
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kushner, David (2003). Masters of Doom. Random House. 89. ISBN 0375505245. 
  5. Kahney, Leander. "Vaporware 2000: Missing Inaction". December 27, 2000. Wired News.
  6. Manjoo, Farhad. "Vaporware 2001: Empty Promises". January 7, 2002. Wired News.
  7. Vaporware Team. "Vaporware 2002: Tech Up in Smoke?". Wired News. January 3, 2003.
  8. Jason Hall Discusses His New Online Show. Retrieved on May 7, 2009