Duke Nukem 3D remains the Duke’s magnum opus. With inventive weapons and unprecedented interactivity, it fought on the front lines against id’s fully-3D Quake. With the recent release of Duke Nukem Forever, the Local Ditch takes a look at Duke Nukem 3D.
Back in the day, the local software shop had packaged, boxed software lining the walls, while an inside aisle held racks of 5.25″ floppy disks, almost all of which were branded shareware. The concept: you pay for the price of the disks ($1 for a 1-disk piece of software, $2 for a two disker…) and get to use the program as much as you want. Only there’s a catch: you don’t get the entire program. If you liked it, you were encouraged to buy the rest of it. If not, you just gave the disk to someone else.
Duke Nukem was sitting on the shelf with the rest of them. On its disk was Episode 1: Shrapnel City. In the intro, there’s a brief dialogue between Duke and the game’s antagonist, Dr. Proton, ending with Duke promising to get home, “in time to watch Oprah.” (more…)