The series is the ancestor of all first person shooter nods to both films and other videogames.
As such, every Continuity Nod
, Mythology Gag
, Captain Ersatz
, "No Celebrities Were Harmed
, and Shout-Out
reference in any of these games go here.
Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem II
- In the "Mercury Mines" level of Duke Nukem 1, Dr. Proton issues a taunt via a monitor:note
"Why bother Duke? Not even Commander Keen could survive the perils of my Mercury Mines!"
- In the story of Duke Nukem, Duke says after he's defeated Dr. Proton, he'll still have time to watch Oprah.
- In the gameplay demo from the intro of Duke Nukem, one of the advertisement texts reads the game "beats Nintendo easily".
- Some of the graphics of Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem II look a lot like those of Turrican.
- Some of the music pieces of Duke Nukem II have also references to other works:
- One song, "Squeak", sounds a lot like "Skin O' My Teeth" by Megadeth.
- The song "He's Back" is based on "Angry Again" by Megadeth.
- In Duke Nukem II, if the player collects the letters N, U, K, E and M in that order, they will get many bonus points (and less if they do it in another order). The same thing is in Duke Nukem I with letters D, U, K and E.
- LameDuke, an old beta version of the game, has a few:
- There are health-giving cola cans as single items and as sixpacks scattered around the game world. They refer to similar health items in the first two Duke Nukem games, and their brand name is "Cola-Cola" which refers to the real-world drink Coca-Cola. One level (E2L4) also has a window with the text "Cola-Cola" painted on it.
- There are True Lies posters in one level (E1L6).
- Some elevators in E1L7 play Van Morrison's Brown-Eyed Girl.
- Some assets are also from Rise of the Triad which was also under production at the time:
- two pieces of music: "Goin' down the Fast Way" and "Mist Ache"
- A trap which periodically shoots flames (It is also fully functional in the final game but unused).
- The Capitol Records building is featured in E2L4.
- An overview of Los Angeles (based on real photograph(s)) is shown in end-of-level graphics of E2 when the debug mode is off.
- Hollywood Boulevard, Vine Street and part of the Hollywood Walk of Fame all appear in the game.
- One of the levels (E2L1) partially takes place in the Los Angeles River.
- Some development screenshots, released concept art and the leaked beta version also have some which never made it to the final game:
- One screenshot has the main entrance of a cinema with the movie title "Slashmaster II". This is a reference to the slasher movie genre.
- As seen in the concept art, a "Caterkillar" (a play on the tool and machine manufacturer Caterpillar) laser chainsaw was intended to be one of the weapons. It was basically a beam sword.
- According to a script file in the leaked beta, one of the levels was going to take place on the Santa Monica Pier.
- In the leaked beta, there is a mention of a level named "Apogee Arms Hotel".
- E1L1, "Hollywood Holocaust":
- The level is based on Escape from New York.
- 867 5309 written on the wall in the cinema restroom. It's a reference to the song "867-5309/Jenny" by Tommy Tutone.
- A Duke Nukem II game in the arcade (the previous game in the series)
- A Balls of Steel pinball machine in the arcade (Apogee would later release Balls of Steel for Windows)
- The "innocent?" billboard at the beginning of the level is reportedly also referring to OJ Simpson.
- E1L2, "Red Light District"
- On the TVs in the bar area of the strip club is OJ Simpson's white Bronco.
- E1L3, "Death Row":
- A hanging monk from Rise of the Triad.
- The "doomed" space marine.
- The poster in one of the cells covering a tunnel to the outside is a reference to The Shawshank Redemption.
- Later on, the player encounters Hannibal Lecter standing in his prison cell. (N64 version only)
- E2L2, "Incubator", has at least two occurrences of the number 1138.
- E2L3, "Warp Factor", is one big Shout-Out to Star Trek, from the overall shape of the level, to the secret mockup of the TNG Enterprise bridge.
- After revealing two secrets, the player can visit the bridge of the Enterprise, NCC-1701D, as well as Picard's "Ready Room".
- E2L6, "Tiberius Station", was named after James Tiberius Kirk.
- E2L7, "Lunar Reactor" contains a mutilated Luke Skywalker hanging upside down in stormtrooper armor.
"Now this is a force to be reckoned with!"
- E2L8, "Dark Side", includes the monolith from 2001: A Space Oddysey near the end.
- E3L1, "Raw Meat", starts with Duke sprouting the infamous ChewBubblegum line. He can also sing "BOOOORN TO BE WIIIILD" in the karaoke.
- E3L4, "L.A. Rumble", has a building that crumbles due to an earthquake looks exactly like the building where id Software's offices are in. While the building crumbles Duke will state "I ain't afraid of no Quake!"
- E3L5, "Movie Set" is a movie set where a film based on the previous episode is being filmed. The helicopter that crashes at the start hits a water tower (a possible shout-out to Warner Bros, there). The poster for the film shows up in a couple of later levels, too.
- E3L7 is named "Fahrenheit", the music is called "233C" and a fire engine is numbered "451". All of these are references to Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.
- E3L8, "Hotel Hell", has a secret area, found by entering behind the pool's waterfall, where Indiana Jones is speared.
"We meet again, Dr. Jones."
- E3L11, "Freeway", includes a flattened Terminator in a compactor. When you go inside for a look:
- Near the end of the level, the player will face a police car on its side with the number 54. This is an homage to Car 54, Where Are You?
- The blimp advertises for Homer Simpson's beer.
- There's TV footage parodying the OJ Simpson car chase. It also shows up in several other levels, notably E 1 L 2 and E 3 L 1.
- E4L1, "It's Impossible", is a big Shout-Out to Mission: Impossible, but also includes a corridor of opening doors, along the lines of the Get Smart opening titles.
- There are also magazines featuring Moger Roore on the cover.
- There are also an umbrella and a hat hanging under the sign "Steed" in the level - an obvious reference to The Avengers
- And, of course, a sign of U.N.C.L.E.
- E4L2, "Duke Burger", has Butthead through the drive-thru speaker of the restaurant, admonishing the player to leave, because the place is 'like, closed'.
- The list of specials includes references to Pulp Fiction - Big Kahuna Burgers are most prominent.
- Not to mention the brief appearance of "Scrappy Due".
- E4L3, "Shop-N-Bag", is based on a real chain of stores with the same name which closed down in the late 1990s.
- At one point, Duke comes across a badly mutilated corpse dangling from the ceiling. Said body is that of Snake Plissken. If the player takes a closer look at it:
"Huh. Guess he didn't escape from L.A."
- E4L5, "Pigsty", contains several desk name-blocks which reference a number of characters in law enforcement from 'Die Hard, Judge Dredd and Dirty Harry''.
- The car-crashing-into-police-station sequence is a reference to The Terminator, complete with Duke saying "I'll be back".
- E4L6, "Going Postal", includes a reference to The Simpsons - "trab pu kcip", to be viewed through a mirror. It also contains the infamous composite sketch of the Unabomber.
- E4L8, "Critical Mass", has a secret area which is a mock-up of Homer Simpson's work area, including donuts on the console and a sign saying "Sector 7-G".
- E4L9, "Derelict", is a tanker named Valdez 2.
- E4L11, "Area 51", has a few for Independence Day.
- Duke's "Groovy" and "Hail to the king, baby!" are references to Evil Dead.
- When you approach a captured woman, she'll spout "Kill Me". It's a reference to Aliens.
- The Chaingun Cannon is a Russian made Pribor-3B Nordenfelt gun.
- The text on the shotgun ammo boxes looks like it reads Remington.
- Episode 3 has the same name as Episode 1 in Duke Nukem I, "Shrapnel City".
- The title screen is a parody of the poster of Army of Darkness.
- The theme music, "Grabbag", is mostly influenced by Pantera, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath and Rick Wakeman.
- Some music is inspired by Black Sabbath, Megadeth and Metallica.
- The game has a special effect where the ceiling of a sector falls when a shot or an explosion hits within the sector. In the source code, this is called "Battle Star Galactica shields".
- The doors that shrink sideways when opened and stretch horizontally when closed are called "Star Trek doors" in the documentation.
- Visa and Master Card logos appear in cash registers throughout the game.
- The Playstation port (Total Meltdown) has a control scheme called "Doomed", named such because it's based on the default control scheme of the Playstation Doom port.
- The same port also add a new episode which features a few levels spoofing popular Playstation games: "Nightmare Zone" is based on the first level of Tomb Raider, "Trackside Tragedy" parodies Wipeout and "Gates Motel" pastiches Resident Evil and horror movies.
Duke Caribbean: Life's A Beach
- The recurring boat is titled Kobayashi Maru. Three guesses where that comes from.
- The title theme for the expansion pack is based on the Hawaii Five-O theme.
- The key cards are replaced by Vista credit cards.
- L1 has Duke singing a Beach Boys song.
- L2 features a quote from The Fifth Element.
- L5 has quotes from Fantasy Island.
Duke It Out In D.C.
- L1, "Hell to the Chief", is based on the White House, of course.
- L2, "Memorial Service", is based on the Lincoln Memorial.
- L3, "Nuked Files", is based on the FBI Offices. The name is a riff on The X-Files.
- L4, "Smithsonian Terror", is based on the Smithsonian Museum, down to the exhibits.
- L5, "Capitol Punishment", is based on the Capitol, yes it is.
- The secret level, L10, "Top Secret", was based in part on a user map named "Aztec".
- L7, "Dread October", is referencing The Hunt for Red October.
Duke: Nuclear Winter
- L1 and L2 are essentially E1L2 and E1L1, respectively, done in reverse.
- L3, "Land of Forgotten Toys", features Mario playing Mario Kart and a portion of E1L1 from the original Doom as part of the level.
Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project
- The Duke Nukem 1 sprite appears as graffiti in some levels.
- The intro cutscene, after two Ratoids wreak havoc, has Duke saying this before shooting his first bullet:
- In the first level, there's an outdoor to the "Rats" play, a reference to Broadway's "Cats".
- In the second level, if you pick up a public phone you'll hear a woman's voice saying something like this:
- Later, you must avoid some cars crossing a street. After a couple of times:
- After taking a Berserk pack, Duke sprouts this:
- Crossing with Development Gag and What Could Have Been in Duke Nukem 3D part, the Pig Cops can hit the player with their gun, something which the Pig Cops were meant to do in 3D, but couldn't.
- Another one-liner, after he destroys a pair of camerabots:
- The secret boss Wozma seems to be a reference to Ozma.
- The plot of small animals mutating when coming into contact with spilled ooze, especially in a game called The Manhattan Project, is strangely familiar.
- The Gatoroid enemy is based on the famous alligators-in-the-sewer urban legend which arguably originated from New York.
- These lines, said by Duke:
Other Duke games