With yesterday’s shocking announcement that Duke Nukem Forever is not only alive, but also blasting its way towards a release date sometime next year, it looks like the gaming public will finally get a mighty bootful of the most infamous vaporware title in history. Whether Duke’s crass attitude and cheap one-liners are still the stuff of gaming bliss nearly 15 years after the big man took the 2.75D plunge is up for debate, but it leads one to ponder how well the game would have faired if it had been released when it was supposed to be – approximately six months after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.
|Old DNF screen shot of... some guy|
The hell if I know, but seasoned players will recall that 3D Realms has a habit of programming games to about 90 percent and then using them to line George Broussard’s fireplace on Christmas Eve, then starting over from scratch about a week into the New Year. Presumably this is done because the fellows at 3D Realms are obsessed with making the perfect game, but really it’s because Mr. Broussard and company hate money: After the release of Duke Nukem 3D they ran out of drawers in which to stuff their gargantuan piles of cash, so they had to make room in the office somehow.
|George Broussard, seen here pointing at the computer where he personally deleted the 1998, 2002 and 2005 versions of Duke Nukem Forever.|
Thus it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Duke 3D also got a complete makeover before hitting the net in January of 1996, but this time I can’t really fault 3D Realms’ decision to scrap what they had and try again. To celebrate the one year anniversary of DN3D’s shareware release, the company unleashed a Dec. 30, 1994 beta of the game – lovingly called “LameDuke” – on unsuspecting players. The result was like a taco with a sandpaper shell: a devilish mix of curiosities and interesting tidbits wrapped in an irritating, occasionally treacherous shell.
|Strinking the Power Ranger pose!|
|Kano- Er, Dr. Proton|
|"Did someone poke out my right eye!? Oh, it's just this RPG."|
If you’re a fan of the original Duke 3D or you just can’t wait for Duke Forever, perhaps LameDuke can temporarily satiate your hunger for all things Nukem. Just let this be a lesson to those who are salivating over the DNF betas: If they all suck as hard as LameDuke, maybe it’s better that they stay lost to the annals of gaming history.
…oh, who am I kidding. Bring on those betas, 3D Realms, or the Duke gets it!
|I'll do it! THERE WILL BE BLOOD!|