Earlier this week, a retro game leaker teased ’90s shooter fans with something they’d never seen before: in-game footage of 3D Realms’ infamous vaporware game Duke Nukem foreverbased on an unfinished build from 2001. (Not to be confused with the game of the same name that Gearbox eventually launched in 2011.) Was this an elaborate fan-made fake? duke-like content in an outdated 3D engine, or would that turn out to be real?
We figured we’d have to wait until June for an answer, as this week’s leaker hinted that the build and its source code would be released to coincide with the 21st anniversary of the game’s enticing E3 2001 trailer. But after this week’s teasing, the leakers decided to skip the gun. On Tuesday, 1.9 GB of Duke Nukem forever Files ended up on various file sharing sites (which we don’t link to here) and Ars Technica has confirmed that these files are legitimate.
As it turns out, this is a surprisingly playable version of Duke Nukem forever from October 2001, although with so many errors and incomplete sections, that doesn’t say much. Most of this content, which includes moments from the aforementioned E3 trailer, was shelved when the game reached a cobbled together retail state in 2011. So we finally take a closer look at how the game could have turned out differently had it started closer to 2001.
Time to soft core: 3.9 seconds
The 2001 files attributed to the x0r_jmp cracking group were allegedly retouched to run on modern PCs. The initial release also includes a folder of optional patches that provide tweaks such as emulated surround sound, hair animation updates, and a “MegaPatch” collection of suggested tweaks.
Even without these patches, the version seems to work fairly well on modern Windows 10 PCs (including the Surface Pro 4, which I rely on while away from my home office). A dated but functional main menu allows users to select levels from the game’s campaign, including dummy entries for unfinished content leading to loading dead ends. While the UI looks clean enough, it includes some, uh, duke-Caliber of NSFW content – including what appears to be an unlicensed image of naked women making love to each other.
Some of the working campaign levels include dialogue from nearby NPCs; These range from fully voiced acting to placeholders with robotic voices and even rudimentary text in a tiny font. In a sample of recorded dialogue, famed ring announcer of the 90’s and 2000’s Michael Buffer calls out his signature “Let’s get ready to rumble” line before waves of enemies emerge around a casino boxing ring. It’s unclear if 3D Realms Buffer wanted to pay for this appearance, or if the clip was adopted by the developers as a production placeholder from another game or film.
Start this version of Duke Nukem forever from the opening chapter and you’re treated to a text-only dialog sequence that has Duke exiting his dressing room and walking onto a stage where he’ll be introduced as a headlining guest for a TV talk show (here to know for a book he just made wrote like Duke Nukem is wasting his time with ridiculous stuff like Microsoft Word). During this chat, we learn that Duke and the US President disagree on how Duke has consistently dealt with alien invaders Duke Nukem 3D. Duke’s response in this scene is predictable enough: “These alien bastards would only listen to the voice of hot lead.”
This article was previously published on Source link