At this point, you don’t have to explain to anyone what cult Duke Nukem 3D sparked, nor how work on the successor to Duke Nukem Forever ended up. Because this has been in development for many years and has become the biggest gag in gaming history.
2022 was an interesting year for fans of this story, because in the spring an original build or game by Duke Nukem Forever (DNF) was leaked (not the version that was later published by Gearbox). A few days ago, an early upgrade version of Duke Nukem: Endangered Species came out. The game was supposed to send Duke hunting in 2001, but it was also canceled this year.
Prototype of the 2D version of Duke Nukem Forever (1996)
Duke Nukem Forever as sidekick
But that’s not the end of Duke Leak Fest 2022, because now a playable version of Duke Nukem Forever 2D has appeared. No, that’s not a typo, because DNF also has a version that taps into the game’s side-scrolling roots. The leaker who posted the previously mentioned “original” version of the DNF back in May introduced Duke Nukem Forever 2D. How do Ars Technica Scott Miller, founder of Duke Nukem’s original Apogee Software, reported this past summer interview With developer Darrin Hurd confirming for the first time that this 2D version has existed before. Hurd talked about creating the game and also revealed how the name Forever came about.
“Originally it was a little pun,” Hurd said. “The main protagonist in our first game for Apogee was a Russian soldier named Eva… When we came up with a name as a group, we thought it would be funny if Duke fell in love with Eva and her huge assets, and since then it was the fourth version of Duke, and the name “Duke Nukem” was born 4 Eva.” Over time, “4Eva” eventually became “Forever.”
Duke Nukem Forever 2D was finally abandoned due to the huge popularity of 3D games, and the huge success of Duke Nukem 3D also played an important role here. If you want to try Duke Nukem Forever side scroller, you can find download in Internet Archives.
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