Duke Nukem Cheats & Cheat Codes for MS-DOS and PC

An in-game screenshot from Duke Nukem.

Duke Nukem Cheats & Cheat Codes for MS-DOS and PC

Duke Nukem is a 1991 shooter-platformer developed and published by Apogee Software. The game was originally released for MS-DOS, but in 2012 (over two decades later!), it made its way to PC via the DRM-free service, GOG. Bizarrely, at one point due to legal issues, the game was formerly known as Duke Nukum.

Many gamers out there are familiar with the Duke Nukem series, which went on to bigger and better things in the years after the original. However, its opening title wasn’t exactly a massive success, and it’s estimated that it eventually sold between 60,000 to 70,000 copies. With this in mind, it’s almost surprising a sequel was ever produced.

Duke Nukem Premise

An in-game screenshot from Duke Nukem.

Duke Nukem is everything you would expect from a game like this from this particular era. Throughout each level, your only objective is to reach the exit, killing everything along the way. This rewards you with points, which are easier to earn if you pick up one of the health or gun power-ups you can find. These are usually hidden in boxes, which you can shoot at to open.

Each level has seven hidden objectives you can complete to earn more points, giving some interesting variety to the gameplay. Because of the generally restrictive gameplay, the limits of MS-DOS are massively on display here. It doesn’t quite hold up even against similar games of the era released on consoles such as the NES. However, it’s still interesting to play if you’re a fan of the series who is curious about its roots.

Duke Nukem Main Characters

An in-game screenshot from Duke Nukem.

The characters in the original Duke Nukem aren’t as fully formed as they become throughout the series. They’re an interesting starting point, but it seemed as though the developers weren’t ready to fully subvert audience expectations yet. As a result, Duke himself seems like a generic super soldier that you would find in many ’90s games, and his archnemesis, Dr. Proton, resembles a mustache-twirling villain and a walking stereotype.

Still, you’ve got to admire the effort for a first attempt. There was clearly potential there, as evidenced by later games in the franchise.

  • Duke Nukem: In this game, Duke Nukem isn’t quite the character we come to know in later releases. Here, he’s a near-silent efficient soldier, enlisted by the CIA to save the Earth from Dr. Proton. There are still hints of his humorous personality here, only taking on the job so that he could watch Oprah.
  • Dr. Proton: Dr. Proton is the game’s antagonist, hellbent on invading Earth with his Techbot army. When the game begins, he has already destroyed most of Los Angeles, and seems set to destroy the rest of the planet.

Duke Nukem Titles in the Series

An in-game screenshot from Duke Nukem.

The Duke Nukem series has had its fair share of ups and downs over the years. For the first two releases, the series hadn’t quite discovered its identity in both its gameplay and titular character. Duke wasn’t quite the traditional cocky action hero and womanizer that go on to define future releases. Once that had been established and the series embraced a more humorous approach, Duke Nukem finally gained widespread popularity amongst gamers.

Really, it was the third time the charm for Duke Nukem. The 1996 release in the series, Duke Nukem 3D, established almost everything fans loved about the series, turning Duke into a gaming icon overnight. It was like playing a raunchy Doom, and there was a ton of novelty in that.

Duke Nukem Forever

In the years that followed, it was only spin-offs that were released. Work continued in the background on Duke Nukem Forever, which was stuck in development hell. By the time it did manage to make it to shelves, the project had gone through several developers and released to savage reviews from fans and critics alike. It felt every bit like a game that had taken 15 years to finally come out, with dated mechanics and jokes that seemed to have slipped through the cracks.

Duke Nukem Forever was so bad, that we haven’t seen any hint of the franchise since. When the game is nothing but a distant memory, we imagine the IP will be dragged out for one more roll of the dice, but we’re not quite there yet.

Duke Nukem Cheat Codes

An in-game screenshot from Duke Nukem.

There are just a few cheat codes in the original Duke Nukem, but they’re only possible in the original MS-DOS version of the game. This is because you have to launch the game in MS-DOS by typing “duke1 asp“. However, if you choose to play the game on an emulated version of the game via MS-DOS

If you’ve done it correctly, you should be able to use the few cheat codes the game does have, which are detailed below. The keys in the cheats need to be pressed simultaneously, rather than in a sequence; otherwise, they won’t work.

Cheat CodeCheat Effect
Alt + F6Warps you to the hidden demo level.
Backspace + Page DownGives you all weapons, full power, and all keys.
G + O + DGives you all items.
G + O + WInstantly warps you to the next level. If entered on the final level of Duke Nukem, this will teleport you to the hidden demo level, which is the same as if you pressed.

Duke Nukem Secret Bonuses

On top of the above cheat codes, there are seven secret bonuses hidden on each level, and getting them all awards you with maximum points for that particular stage. We’ll show you exactly what they are, to make it easier to never miss a secret objective:

  • Destroying all cameras in a level.
  • Not losing any health in a level.
  • Making all of the ACME signs fall.
  • Destroying all missiles in a level.
  • Collecting the letters D, U, K, and E in the correct order.
  • Destroying all of the Snake Techbots.
  • Destroying all of the Bunny Techbots.

Duke Nukem Cheat Code FAQ

An in-game screenshot from Duke Nukem.

Do Duke Nukem Cheats Work on PC Versions of the Game?

That depends. On official versions of the game such as the modern GOG release, the cheats shouldn’t work, as they’re a feature of MS-DOS. However, if you choose to emulate the MS-DOS version of the game or play in a browser on a site such as DOS Games Archive, the cheats definitely work there!

What Is The Cheat For All Weapons in Duke Nukem?

After you’ve launched the game with cheats enabled (“duke1 asp“), press Backspace + Page Down simultaneously. This gives you all weapons in Duke Nukem, as well as gives you full power and all keys. There isn’t a cheat that only gives you the weapons, unfortunately.

How Do You Access The Secret Demo Level in Duke Nukem?

There are a few ways that you can go about accessing the secret demo level in Duke Nukem. The first is to simply press Alt + F6, which takes you straight to the level. Otherwise, you can continue to press G + O + W, which will warp you to the next level. After you press this on the final level of the game, you’ll be teleported to the demo level.

In case you’re wondering exactly what the demo is, it’s an early version of the level Mission: Moonbase, and it’s interesting to see the small changes.

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