Duke Nukem is a fictional character and action hero who has been the protagonist in over a dozen video games, the fictional universe in which they take place and a proposed upcoming live action science fiction and horror or action feature film. Numerous figurines of the character have been produced.
The character first appeared in the 1991 video game Duke Nukem (also temporarily known as "Duke Nukum") which was developed by Apogee Software, then by 3D Realms, and presently by Gearbox Software who have since bought the rights to Duke Nukem and own the intellectual property . The character was created by video game developer Todd Replogle, Jim Norwood, George Broussard and Scott Miller of Apogee Software. The character was redesigned into the present tough guy incarnation by George Broussard, and Allen Blum, for the 1996 game Duke Nukem 3D. In the dozen or so Duke Nukem games since Duke Nukem 3D, this incarnation of the character has been constant, and voiced by voice actor Jon St. John. A sequel to Duke Nukem 3D, Duke Nukem Forever, had been in development hell since at least 1997. It is currently slated for a 2011 release, however.
In the original two games Duke Nukem barely spoke and was portrayed as a self-proclaimed hero, initially hired by the CIA to save earth from Dr. Proton. However Duke's personality in all his games since the third game in the series, Duke Nukem 3D, has been that of a wise-cracking, hyper-masculine, egotistical, chauvinist, machismo-filled, womanizing tough guy. It should be noted that in Duke Nukem II he starts to move more into the direction of a traditional action hero. His missions generally involved killing aliens that had invaded Earth. He is apparently sexually adept and irresistible to women, and circumstances generally find him surrounded by many buxom women. He does however frequently mention an estranged love named "Lani" in numerous games, although she is never elaborated on and seems to be the butt of many of his jokes. (Indeed, in Duke Nukem 3D, it is shown that he has a tattoo of her name on one of his buttocks.) This is widely believed to be a reference Lani Minella, a voice actress that has done several voices for Duke Nukem 3D.
Duke Nukem's character is a pastiche of a number of Hollywood-action heroes, such as those played by John Wayne, Charles Bronson in Death Wish, Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando, Sylvester Stallone as Rambo, Bruce Willis as John McClane in Die Hard, Kurt Russell's character from Big Trouble in Little China, Roddy Piper's character from They Live, and Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams from the Evil Dead series. His appearance resembles characters played by Dolph Lundgren and Jean Claude Van Damme.
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Official Site: 3d realms
Links: wikipedia duke4.net planet duke