Please note, this project has been dead since early 2007. We finished. We beat the game. Check out our Speedruns (includes Duke Done Quicker), us at Speed Demos Archive, and scroll down to the Per Episode Glitch Occurrences for insane details/information!
UPDATE: Check us out on YOUTUBE!
The intentions for this page is to create a list of glitches, and instances of use, found in Duke Nuke 3D. If there is a web site which already covers such a subject, please inform me know so I may not duplicate efforts. The list can not be verifiably complete, nor will it include passive glitches which others have discovered. All glitches, unless with a noted source, were discovered by my self.
These pages may contain or link to both animated gifs and avis of varing file sizes and resolution. Some contain intentional slow down to help display the key points of the glitch.
Contributions or discrepancies, Contact Me.
Note: I apologize for any of the poor XHTML generated by MediaWiki. It has problems with inserting formatting into X/HTML objects as though they were part of the wikimarkup.
- Added a new small ledge push for Movie Set.
- Added a 2 small ledge pushes, and a warp for LA Rumble.
- Added a sequence break for Bank Roll.
- Added an Item Grab Through Wall for Babe Land.
- Added a warp for Pigsty, as well as added videos for the existing one.
- Added information regarding "strafe 50" acceleration.
- Fixed an error in the Double Key Insertion Glitch information. The button needs to be pushed a second time.
- Added a new small and large ledge push for Duke Burger, on the ground below the drive through window.
- Added a new switch from behind for Duke Burger
- Added information regarding a new glitch, double key insertion.
- Added a new warp for Hollywood Holocaust, in the arcade.
- Added a new large ledge push for Hollywood Holocaust, by the red key.
- Added a new small ledge push for Hollywood Holocaust, by an explosion crack.
- Added a warp for Lunatic Fringe.
- All Ducking Push Through Walls has been changed to Small Ledge Push.
Several passages in the game require Duke to be effected by the shrink ray to move through, but these can be bypassed by usage of jump/duck/jump.
This glitch is performed by holding down duck during a jump, then pressing jump again at the proper moment of landing, while having movement in the direction of the small passage to enter.
While landing from a jump, Duke will temporarily grow shorter to cause a visual effect similar to bending at the knees, this is the potential cause for this glitch.
The intentional listed applications for this are only for ones which are abnormal in the sense of either causing a major sequence break or being impossible otherwise.
- Kari Kuivalainen -- who helped me greatly on understanding this.
Small Ledge Push
This section and glitch was formally called Ducking Push through Wall
Duke Nukem 3D appears to poorly handle walking while ducking while on a very thin ledge. In doing so with out targeting a wall (opposed to a step), Duke will constantly bounce off of the wall a small amount, causing a "jittering" effect, given the proper circumstances. If Duke's speed is great enough, this can cause Duke to pass into a wall. If Duke is moving fast enough and if the width of the target wall is short enough, then Duke will pass into the adjacent room.
This behavior was potentially programmed in to allow ducking Duke Nukem to walk up steps with out needing to stand. This effect was also potentially programmed in to allow Duke to pass through ventilation grates onto his way into duct work.
This can not be done from the top of an object/actor. This includes the tops of doors, garbage cans, bad guys, etc.
This glitch can also be performed underwater. However, movement underwater is greatly slowed, and steroids are not enough. Pipe bombs must be used to pass through a wall underwater.
Please note that this, after the relatively recent discovery of the Large Ledge Push, this glitch has become renamed as Small Ledge Push opposed to the original name Ducking Push Through Wall regardless.
- Example video from e1l3
- 159kb xvid AVI video
Large Ledge Push
The large ledge push glitch appears to be related to the small ledge push glitch only in terms of requiring a ledge of a specific size range. Ledges between 224 build units and 320 build units can not be small ledge pushed but can be large ledge pushed.
A large ledge push requires jumping and landing at a specific point which is most likely Duke's collision model landing in the exact corner of the wall and flooring. Tests have shown that the large ledge push method provides Duke with enough speed to make it through walls with a thickness of 64 build units with strafe running, while the small ledge push will not with out additional speed enhancements. It is undetermined if landing at the same angle on a small ledge will cause this same effect.
This glitch is of extreme difficulty, and unless mastered, may not be practical to do late in a level due to the high chance of failure.
- Example video from e1l5
- Please note that the AVI and GIF videos are different.
Double Key Card Insertion
When two pads for key cards are mounted vertical of each other, if Duke is still on the motion of inserting the key card as he passes by the one not being inserted, and the 'use' button is pushed again, it will also be activated. This serves no usage in-game as key pads are never laid out in this manor in any of the official levels.
This glitch was discovered by Fernando Calvo who has also created a map to demonstrate. card.map has two cards, two vertically mounted key pads, and a passage way with two doors, each corresponding to a specific key insertion. If both doors open, then both key pads have been activated.
Forms of Acceleration
Duke can be accelerated faster, to allow passage through larger walls using either the Ducking Push Through Wall or Large Ledge Push, in a good number of manors and combinations of manors. The exact units of speed, the forms of accelerations exact improvements, and their exact results have not been measured nor determined yet.
Strafing allows Duke to run at speeds higher than his normal running speed. This is an effect found in other first person shootings such as Doom. The speed gain is minor but should not be ignoring in normal level play as well as in pushing through walls.
Steroids provide a simple to use and very effective means of speed gain.
Pipe Bombs are unique in the sense that they are not recommended for typical level play acceleration but do allow Duke to boost through objects in a manor where steroids are not applicable. One of their most unique features is that they are the only way for Duke to boost through walls, using small ledges, under water.
To use a pipe bomb above water, it is best that the pipe bomb explosion hit Duke just as he begins to fall from his jump towards his destination. This is not a simple way to pass through objects nor does it come free of charge. 50 health is most likely the minimum amount recommended. To boost through an underwater ledge, Duke must be already ducking on the ledge and strafe pushing in the direction of the wall. Due to the low gravity effect, the pipe bomb can be thrown and detonated while in mid 'air.'
The following are results conducted on a small ledge with a set of walls at different thicknesses.
- Using nothing Duke can not push through a 64 build unit wall.
- Steroids allow Duke to pass through a wall of 160 build units but not 192.
- Steroids + Strafing
- Steroids and strafing allow Duke to pass through a wall of 256 build units but not 320.
- Steroids + Strafing + Pipe Bomb
- Steroids, strafing, and a pipe bomb allow Duke to pass through a wall of 384 build units but not 448.
This glitch is known as strafe 50 in reference to the Doom Glitch which it has resemblance to. It is unlikely that this glitch actually causes '50 units of movement' as the Doom glitch does.
To perform the strafe 50 movement in Duke Nukem 3D, the player must use four inputs at once. Forward movement, a dedicated strafe key (i.e., 'a' being bound to strafe left), a turn key which is in the direction of the dedicated strafe (following the example, 'left' being bound to turn left), and the strafe button (often defaulted to 'alt').
This allows Duke to move forward in a manor faster than he ordinarily could with normal strafe running (using a dedicated strafe button). Tests have shown that the speed difference increases if you're on a moving floor, such as a conveyor belt.
Speed increase on difference floor movement types compared to normal strafe running.
- Normal ground.
- 5.5% speed increase.
- 2048 units velocity moving floor.
- 15% speed increase.
- 3072 units velocity moving floor.
- 40% speed increase.
- 3500 units velocity moving floor.
- 166% speed increase.
This glitch was discovered by Fernando Calvo who has also created maps and demos to demonstrate. The map and demo pack contains 4 test levels, and 8 demos. The demos are named as either wob, or wb, to signify With Out Bug, or With Bug.
Switch from Direction
Several switches in this game can be toggled or pushed in a manor where the switch is visually occluded.
The exact reasoning for this has not been determined, but for switch from behind (as in, through a wall) the thickness of the wall seems to be of importance. For a switch from an obtuse angle, the material (if any) between Duke and the switch, as well as the thickness of the wall seem to be significant.
There are also select areas which allow for a switch to be toggled through a wall. These areas include e1l1, and e4l4. There has been no consistent reasoning for this found.
A sequence break is any miscellaneous way to break from the sequence of intended events and flow of a level. Ones involving glitches are listed under their glitch's name. What is listed as a sequence break is not a glitch in game programming, but typically an oversight in the original level creation.
Many levels can be sequence broken by using a jet pack. These are mostly obvious to any player, thus, they are out of scope and not listed.
Warps were mostly removed in version 1.5 of Duke Nukem, which is the version covered by the text of this material. I have no interest in discovering or listing warps that only function in previous versions of Duke Nukem 3D. I started playing Duke Nukem 3D in 2005 and have little knowledge on their function due to a lack of an online structured Duke Nukem 3D running/glitch community. My understanding is based upon the description provided by Wikipedia.
The following are general glitches which will not be listed on a per level basis.
When hitting the Auto Destruct button, there is a period of time between the push and Duke's arm movement. In this time, Duke can still move around freely. This could potentially be used in a speed run to allow the author to backtrack to pick up health with out hitting a time penalty.
Auto Destruct buttons with a glass covering normally contain a ledge small enough in front of them which can be used to push into the wall. None of these have been found useful or leading to any thing, though they can be used for the following...
If Duke's life is brought to 0 after the Auto Destruct button has been pushed (running away and standing in a fire, by a bad guy, by a pipe bomb, etc) then at the start of the following stage his life will be 100.
Marks in walls, indicating that they can be blown up, can be stood on. There are no known areas where this could allow you to either boost up further or push through the wall.
Instant death due to glitches is frequent and is nearly always caused due to being pushed into a wall. While in a small closet, Duke can instantly die due to the small amount of space pushing him into a wall. A swinging door can very easily push Duke into a wall when he is sandwiched inbetween. In "Free Way" Duke can instantly die in the start of the map by floating upwards to the sides of the first water grate. This could be occurring due to the game assuming that Duke can always rise a specific amount out of the water with out collision, causing him to partially move into a wall, though this is fully undetermined. Listing the occurrences of these events is outside the scope of this page.
Elevators work through using teleporters to work around the limitation in the Build engine of not allowing overlapping floors. This is done by teleporting Duke into a second elevator making the transition very transparent to the player. Several elevators in this game have doors which are not flush against the elevators body, examples being inside of Hotel Hell and L.A. Rumble. If Duke is enclosed inside of this space between the two, he is able to push him self into the elevator even though it's not level with his current floor. This, how ever, is worthless, since Duke will not pass through the teleporter and will be at the top or bottom of a doorless shaft. This can also have the adverse effect of the elevator going in the wrong direction, and infinitely traveler higher or lower.
Rotating objects can be pushed into, with out use of speed boosting methods, to elevate Duke to their top or bottom. Uses of this are, for example, if Duke falls down the shaft by the gears in Death Row, Duke can push him self into a cog to prevent death. Another example is the rotating sign in the start of Raw Meat. Using a jetpack this sign can be pushed into and Duke will be teleported to the bottom of the sign. This also relates to the swinging doors in Instant Death. If Duke can not be moved above or below the moving object, Duke will die.
Glitch Occurrences per Episode
Duke Nukem 3D has many glitches in the programming, and has many areas where they can be abused. If the map creators were aware of any of these glitches and tried to design the levels in a manor where they should not be encountered is unknown.
Hopefully what is covered here is only the surface of what is a fun game to both play as intended, and to hunt for glitches.
Please note that these are the sources where I learned of the material. They are possibly not the original founders. If you wish to claim prior art, feel free to Contact Me.
- Kari Kuivalainen
- Kari Kuivalainen’s speed runs are viewable at his page.
- Fernando Calvo (aka, Fernito)
- Fernito's Duke Nukem 3D related work will be viewable on this page in the future.
- Owner of http://www.duke3d.org.
- Oasiz is a person who I have come in contact with through the NESVideos website.
- A type of level play through which includes discovering all of the game counted secrets in a level.
- Tool-Assisted Speedrun. More information can be found at Wikipedia.
- This secret can not be conventionally jumped into from either direction. The intended entrance point is obscured by this.