Ever since Duke made his debut 28 years ago in a successful side-scroller, he’s been saving the world (and the babes) countless times while cracking oodles of cheesy one-liners ever since. This list is made up of ten moments that truly defined Duke as a badass protagonist.
Duke vs. Robot-Duke – Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project
Mech Morphix was brewing up all sorts of trouble across Manhattan. Knowing Duke would track him down to his orbital space station, the big bad guy decides to fight back with a giant Duke-bot. Duke overcomes his mechanical self by launching a few dozen RPGs into its face in a low-gravity final showdown, floating around and dodging deadly lasers. It’s proof that there only be one (king).
Time to turn it into scrap.
All Outta Gum – Duke Nukem 3D
Fun fact: Duke was originally going to be a silent protagonist. That changed when they decided to get voice over artist Jon St. John onboard to voice him. His voice over coach, Lani Minella, wrote many of his one-liners (including the numerous pop culture references).
The first level of Duke Nukem 3D’s third episode is set in a sushi restaurant. Duke starts his mission by cracking his knuckles and quipping: “It’s time to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and I’m all outta gum.” Yes, it’s a paraphrased line from the Sci-fi movie They Live, but while Roddy Piper belts out the line in the movie, Duke drops so coolly and casually in comparison. An unforgettable way to start a level.
Water Gun Genocide – Duke Caribbean: Life’s A Beach
After the events of Duke Nukem 3D, Duke decides to get himself some well-deserved R&R at a Caribbean holiday resort. However, his holiday is ruined by aliens in holiday attire! Our hero liberates a water park, empties a cruise ship, and eventually