[personal profile] tangaroa

Now that we know what 3D Realms did with/to Duke Nukem over the past 14 years, I might as well publish my idea of what I would have done with the franchise.

Duke Nukem and Pals in Yet Another Alien Invasion

A hoky B-movie that knows it's a B-movie. Filled with action, comedy, and pop-culture references.

While fighting off an alien invasion, Duke goes through adventures parodying scenes from popular video games and movies.

  • Duke shoves a nuke up Lavos's ass and detonates it with a classic dynamite plunger while standing right there.
  • Duke and pals enter an underwater Bioshock level that they quickly abandon after finding out the objectivist contractors hired the cheapest possible labor for the dome protecting the city.
  • {Need more references! Many more!}

Aim for a PG-13 rating or the mild end of R. The gore from shot/squished aliens is an unusual colour like whitish-blue or green, so it does not look like blood.

Recurring themes:

  • Duke is dumbed down for the lols.
  • Duke launches into space at least three times.
  • "Kick ass" is repeated in various forms. Billy Blaze says "butts" because his mother does not like him using the harsher language.
  • "Stinking aliens" is repeated often.

Intentional tropes:

  • Good guys don't die, especially not onscreen. Human soldiers are wounded and treated by medics. Several Kitikiti are knocked out and assuredly die, but not onscreen and with no blood.
  • Bad guys, on the other hand, are only killed and are only there to be killed.
  • Everyone gets bled on by exploding aliens and in the next scene their clothes and hair are perfectly clean. This might be inverted once with Jenny still having alien gunk all over her.

Duke's Pals:

  • Dick Steele -- The competing hero who does not view their relationship as a competition. Dick is a nice guy, but Duke is not happy with sharing the glory. Dick is hugely muscular like a pro wrestler, looking like Sergeant Slaughter without the shades. At one point punches through a wall to twist off an alien's head. Dick will often be the sensible voice who says what everyone in the audience is thinking.
  • Colonel Yu Suk Lo -- A Chinese astronaut and martial arts expert played in the style of Jackie Chan. Singlehandedly and unarmed, he defeats an alien attempt to board the International Space Station. Duke picks him up on his first trip into space. He departs after the second trip to go back to China.
  • William Blazkowitz Junior, aka Billy Blaze -- Commander Keen from id's games. He is a 12-year-old boy with an alien pistol, his older brother's oversized football helmet, his pogo stick that allows him to launch into the air, an inflated idea of how awesome he looks, and his mother's permission to fight as long as he stays by Duke. Blaze spouts out one-liners as much as Duke does, except he looks ridiculous doing it. His inexperience and innocence are a source of comedy, as is how Duke and Steele start watching their language once they pick him up.
  • Scorpion Medina -- A drugged-out parody of Spider Jerusalem. He lives in the dark, dreary, graphic-novel hellhole of MINNEAPOLIS which only looks dark and dreary to him. He has a scorpion tattoo on his bald head and he runs around in a bathrobe, boxer shorts, bunny slippers, and a pair of 3-D glasses. He and his secretary make for "Odd Couple" humor.
  • Jenny -- Scorpion's secretary (or sister?) who is the serious side to his ridiculousness. Their relationship is not romantic. She is the only normal person on the team. {her name may change} She is inspired by the pink VGCat.
  • The Shadow Soldier -- A low-ranking member of a secret organization who was assigned to protect Duke from the coming alien invasion. He fights with stealth and sniping in the rare times we see him fight. He mysteriously appears from time to time to give advice. He is based on Illuminatus, my Warrior Tang character, and Mal's JU3 stuff, particularly the ability to telephone for a portal to abruptly depart from his mysterious appearances.

Making short appearances in one or two scenes:

  • The Shadow Brigade -- This universe's version of JU3 TJAB, the Illuminati, and Jedi in one package. They are an elite band of warriors, but since the world already has a hero in Duke Nukem, they haven't had much to do. "While you were saving Los Angeles, who do you think was saving Fresno?"
  • The Kitikiti -- Friendly space aliens who appear once. Their spaceships look like waffles with hull structures resembling strawberries and whipped cream. The Kitikiti themselves are 2-foot-high wide-eyed kittens in metal armour with laser blasters. They are the ultra-cute version of the Kilrathi from Wing Commander.
  • The Lizards {name needed?} -- Another friendly alien race, who the Shadows are in negotiation with to try to get them to engage the invaders. They walk away after hearing that the Fire Heart was thrown in a volcano. They are based on one of the alien races in TJAB lore.
  • Space Marines from the future -- Doom marines who show up to secure the path to Hell that Lavos dug up on its way to the surface. That will suffice for the game's Doom reference.

Characters using magic, which would be new to the Dukeiverse:

So all of these characters are "maybes".

  • Cooler -- An alien with magical ice powers and the ability to withstand any amount of punishment, but has very little combat prowess. He is annoying and gets blown up a lot. Duke finds him in a jail on one of the alien starships. Quote: "My name is Cooler because I'm cooler than you!" His appearance is based on Freeza from Dragonball Z except his color theme is blue instead of pink.
  • Terrina -- Duke's "ex-girlfriend from hell" who is later revealed to be an actual demon from Hell. She is based off Terra/Tina from Final Fantasy 6 and is a minor character who appears once near the beginning over a video phone and once near the end, in the final fight for DC, sitting on a pile of corpses of the strongest type of alien.
  • If magic is being used, the above Shadow Soldier would have Tang's spells and the rest of the Shadow Brigade would include superheroes with the powers of other TJAB characters. Otherwise they'd just use swords and stuff.


  • The Fire Heart -- an alien artifact that is a source of power. The aliens have it. Cooler desires it. No one on Earth knows how to use it but the Shadows know that it is dangerous, so they tell Duke to destroy it. Duke does this by tossing it into a Pacific Rim volcano like in Lord of the Rings. It turns out the Fire Heart is the seed of a planet-eating parasite like Lavos from Chrono Trigger. Lavos breaks the surface within hours. Duke shoves a nuke up its ass, and a team of Shadows goes in the hole to finish it off so Duke can go back to dealing with the alien invasion.

More MacGuffins are needed... or are they?

Major plot points:

  • Duke At Home
  • Battling out of L.A.
  • ...
  • Teaming up with Dick Steele
  • First Launch
  • International Space Station
  • Return from ISS
  • ...
  • ...
  • Second Launch
  • Alien spaceship with Fire Heart and Cooler
  • Col. Yu departs (on an alien shuttle from alien ship)
  • ...
  • ...
  • Destruction of Fire Heart by tossing it in a volcano
  • Shadow+friendly alien negotiations: "It was nice knowing your planet"
  • Appearance/Destruction of Lavos
  • ...
  • ...
  • DC Battle
  • ...
  • ...
  • Final Launch (Third?)
  • Alien Mother Ship
  • Aliens explain why they are fighting; something absurd like they just want to see if they can beat Duke.
  • U.N. Victory Celebration

Scenes needing plugging in somewhere:

  • Recruitment of Keen
  • Bioschlock underwater dome

Scene ideas

Scene: Duke at home

Duke is sitting at home reading his own book "Why I'm So Great". Aliens are peeking in Duke's windows and trying to assassinate him while he is completely unaware, but their methods are cartoonishly incompetent. Shadow Soldier snipes off a few of them that actually manage to threaten him.

Scene: First Launch

Duke and Steele essentially wreck the Shuttle on launch by driving it too fast through the atmosphere, so they will have to take another shuttle back.

Scene: On the ISS

Duke: "I'm Duke Nukem, and this is Dick Steele."

Col. Yu: "Yu Suk Low."

Duke: "Uh..."

Steele: "I think that's his name."

Scene: Returning on the Buran

They are dodging alien fire.

Col. Yu: "One hit from those lasers could turn this shuttle into... Buran flakes!"

Scene: ???

Duke, Dick and Col. Yu are lying on their backs in the dirt after being beaten by one of the toughest aliens.

Steele: "Hey, are you guys alright?"

Col. Yu: "I am alive, but that alien was... chewy?"

Steele: "Tough?"

Col. Yu: "Yes. he was tough."

Duke: "I'd like to kick his ass."

Steele: "Me too."

Col. Yu: "Yeah."

Steele: "So shouldn't we be saving the world from the alien invasion?"

Duke: "I seem to lack the proper psychological motivation."

(they lie still for a few moments)

Steele: "We could do it... for the children!"

Duke: "For the children!" (starts to get up)

Col. Yu: "No, for the children is no good. China had the one child policy because we had too many children and the population was depleting the natural resources..."

Duke: "We could do it... for America! Never mind."

Steele: "We could do it... for the chicks!"

Col. Yu: "For the chicks!"

Duke: "For the chicks!"

They all get up and kick the alien's ass.

Scene: In Minneapolis

A radio or TV announcement advises civilians to gather at the local church. Duke and pals come along.

Scorpion hallucinates that the stained glass forms the words "you are on way too many drugs, Medina"

The priest is obviously an alien wearing a yellow happy-face mask, with undisguised aliens on either side of him.


Everyone looks at him like he's nuts. The aliens take him into a back room to "calm him down" (shoot him)

Duke: "Wait a minute..."

Duke and pals go into the side room to rescue Scorpion. After an action scene, they find the real priest tied up and gagged in a closet.


Duke and Steele point their guns at the priest.

Scorpion: "Wait... wait... it might just be the drugs."

Scene: DC

the US Army is fighting off the aliens and losing.

SOLDIER 1: "We can't hold the position for much longer!"

OFFICER: "Fall back! Fall back!"

SOLDIER 2: "Wait! Duke Nukem is here!"

Duke jumps onto the barricade, exposing himself to alien fire which all miraculously misses him.

DUKE: "Let's kick some alien ass!"

OFFICER: "Charge!"

Duke rushes ahead of the army and they all beat the aliens.

Scene: DC

In the DC battle, Duke stumbles upon about eight Shadow Soldiers fighting against scores of aliens and their reinforcements that keep warping in. The shadows are kicking ass -- many of them with hand-to-hand weapons -- and not one of them takes a hit or stumbles. One of them notices Duke arriving.

SHADOW: "Lunch break!"

The Shadows run off in different directions, each carving a straight path through the mass of enemy.

After fighting the remaining aliens, Duke goes around a corner and sees all the Shadows quietly sitting out in the open and eating lunch.

Scene: DC

In the DC battle during the Shadow lunch break, a Shadow Soldier shows Duke the defences on a tablet computer.

Shadow: "The Army has 60 soldiers here with 40 over here, the Marines have teams of 20 here, here, and here, Terrina is here, and we've got this intersection.

Steele?: "Who is with Terrina?"

Shadow: (shrugs) "Terrina."

Steele: "She's all by herself? Duke,that's your ex-girlfriend! We've gotta make sure she's alright!"

They go and find her, and she is happily sitting on the stacked corpses of three of the toughest kind of alien, the type that knocked out Duke, Steel, and Yu earlier.

Scene: U.N. celebration

(Blaze has earlier spoken of his great-grandpa's war stories about fighting the Krauts in WW2)

Blaze: (to a portly German ambassador) "Are you a Kraut?"

German: (after a moment of stunned silence) "Yes."

Blaze: "Wow!"

Scene: U.N. celebration

Duke's big speech to the U.N. is along the lines of "wherever stinking aliens are stinking, we're gonna kick their ass"

Game idea: Duke Nukem and Pals: Deathmatch

Players are spawned into random characters since they are NOT balanced. In descending order of power, the available characters are:

  • Duke: The best and most elite in every attribute.
  • Dick Steele: Almost as good as Duke, but slower and has a larger profile that is easier to hit.
  • Col. Yu: Has a flying karate kick attack that throws him forward and stuns and knocks back the target. His regular unarmed attack is rapid fire. He has fewer hit points than Duke or Dick, though.
  • Shadow Soldier: An soldier with good aim and speed. He may begin the fight with a sniper rifle.
  • Scorpion: Terrible aim.
  • Billy Blaze: Agile but low HP and unable to use heavy weapons. He starts with a pogo stick to jump high and the enemy's basic laser gun that is slower firing than a standard pistol but does not need to be reloaded.
  • Jenny: A very poor combatant. She may have a purse that she can whack people over the head with that forces them to cower with their hands over their heads until they die. She might have high heels that click on the ground to let everyone know she's coming.

In addition to hit points and maximum speed, characters have different agility. Agility might be implemented as:

  • Turn speed
  • Acceleration and deceleration
  • Whether you push off walls or fall down after hitting them
  • Whether you stay upright after being hit

Since frags of unbalanced characters are not equal, the game should score kills differently. Estimated value for killing:

  • Duke: 100
  • Dick: 90
  • Yu: 85
  • Shadow: 60
  • Scorpion: 50
  • Blaze: 40
  • Jenny: 30

Idea: Standing over a knocked-down character and taunting them will have the effect of a kill, and may even provide a 10% score bonus.

Single-Player Mode:

The game could have the movie plotline from above as a single-player plot. In missions with multiple players, NPC teammates could attack with an AI like in l4d or you could have a teammate stay behind while you kept going. It might be possible to switch characters in the middle of a mission. The mission fails if any of your team is killed.

The mission tree could be like a ladder where you assign different teams to different levels and finish them sequentially to get the next set of missions.

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