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Playing as Duke Nukem in 'Doom II' Is Fun As Hell

New mod brings together two great '90s shooters, and the result is as gnarly as it sounds.

by Leif Johnson
Mar 7 2016, 1:00pm

Image: JohnnyCee

The next time I find myself wrestling with my personal demons, I'll have to remember how I handled a particularly troublesome hellspawn in the new Duke It Out in Doom modification (mod) for Doom II. I simply pulled out my Shrinker gun, morphed him down to the size of a bug, and squashed the beefy mass of teeth and sinew to a bloody pulp with Duke Nukem's combat boot. "Arrivederci, motherfucker," Duke said.

Duke It Out in Doom is a new mod from "JohnnyCee" that lets you play 1994's Doom II: Hell on Earth as Duke Nukem, the politically incorrect action hero of gaming past that kicks ass while spouting sexist epithets. It's exceptionally well done. There's Duke's voice from Duke Nukem 3D, providing commentary when I step on shrunken demons ("Splat!") or pummeling corrupted soldiers with my gloved fists ("Confucius say 'Die!'"). Chainsaws get swapped out for shrink rays, health boosts get swapped out for spinning disks with Duke's beloved nuke symbol, and Duke yells out "Fuck!" when a demon manages to get his claws into him. As someone who was a teenager in the '90s, this is the kind of stuff that gets me to smiling big, stupid grins.

JohnnyCee created another mod that lets players play Duke It Out in Doom with the music from Duke Nukem: Total Meltdown, but you'll have to download it separately.

Both Doom and Doom II came out more than two decades ago, but they've enjoyed a healthy life through mods in the years since. One of the most popular in recent years was Sergeant Mark IV's Brutal Doom mod, which heightened the violence of the original by allowing players to do things like blow a demon's head off or kick another one to death while he calls for help. Famed Doom creator John Romero called it "hilarious."

Elsewhere, heavily pixelated blood from wounds drips from walls and ceilings, and guns have realistic sounds largely missing in the 1994 version. This is the kind of things Doom's players love, and Brutal Doom took off so well that some players argue it had an influence on the direction id Software's bloody Doom reboot coming in May. (As I learned from id's Marty Stratton last July, it's probably better to say they've "gone down similar paths.")

Duke It Out in Doom isn't anywhere near as violent as all that—when enemies die here, they largely just fall over in the same way as they did in Doom In 1994. But it succeeds in a similar way. Brutal Doom allows modern players to experience some of the shock we first felt while playing Doom in 1993, whereas Duke It Out In Doom pairs two of the first great first-person shooters and captures what made both so memorable in the process.

Want to try it out? You'll need to download the latest version of 3DGE, download the Duke It Out in Doom file, and drag the latter over the 3DGE's executable. Voilà. You'll hear all about how Duke's an "equal-opportunity ass-kicker" in no time.