Duke Nukem Forever’s 2001 build appears online, may fully leak in June

Apparent footage from a 2001 build of <em>Duke Nukem Forever</em> has leaked, 21 years later. As this version of the <em>Mona Lisa</em> might say, deal with it.

Enlarge / Apparent footage from a 2001 build of Duke Nukem Forever has leaked, 21 years later. As this version of the Mona Lisa might say, deal with it. (credit: 3D Realms)

The story of Duke Nukem Forever’s development appeared to be tied up in a bow when the game finally launched in 2011, a whopping 14 years after it had been announced. But the first-person shooter that was eventually cobbled together by Gearbox Software, crappy as it was, didn’t necessarily show the game’s whole story.

Arguably the game’s most famous trailer came at E3 2001; it showed off a bombastic, explosion-filled romp through Las Vegas that actually looked like a playable video game, apparently rendered in that era’s version of Unreal Engine. This week, we’ve learned just how playable that version of the game was—with at least one of Duke Nukem Forever‘s original creators backing up its authenticity.

“A smattering of test levels”

The game’s latest leak, posted to 4chan on Sunday and widely shared by Duke Nukem fansite duke4.net, appears to be made of original 2001 code and assets. It includes a one-minute video of first-person carnage in a very Duke-appropriate environment of a strip club called “Slick Willy.” The sequence was apparently played and captured by the build’s leaker.

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