Hail To The King, Baby!

Originally published on 10/14/14 at The Nerd In The Box (thenerdinthebox.com)

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Some years back, I came across this Duke Nukem action figure from Duke Nukem Forever in the Toys ‘R’ Us in Times Square. Without question, I snatched it up, seeing as Duke Nukem 3D was one of my favorite games of all time. I began to remember the countless hours I spent after school playing that game on my Windows 95 computer (that’s right).

For anyone who doesn’t know, Duke Nukem was a womanizing, foul-mouthed, badass, alien-slaying video game god. His sole purpose in the world was roaming around a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, killing alien scum with a variety of awesome weapons, and tipping strippers (who, oddly enough, were the only other human beings left on Earth). You had the ill-advised option of killing the strippers, upon which pissed-off aliens would materialize out of thin air and start shooting at you. Let’s face it, they had a right to be pissed. I mean, who would kill a stripper, especially if they were the last humans left on Earth? The main enemies you would come across in the three stages of the game were typical aliens, which were easily-dispatched henchmen, and the slightly more formidable pig cops, decked out in LAPD uniforms, which I found hilarious then, and still do now. As you made it through the world, splattering extraterrestrial intruders and picking up awesome artillery, Duke would blurt out a number of memorable catch phrases, such as “Hail to the king, baby!”, “It’s time to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I’m all out of gum”, or “Nobody steals our chicks, and LIVES!”.  Once in a while, he would exclaim “Holy shit!” or “Bitchin’!” upon obtaining a weapon upgrade or blowing up the corpse of a slain alien enemy.

One of my favorite lines of his was spoken right before meeting a rather hulking and ugly stage boss with dual rocket launchers strapped to its back. Upon entering the room, Duke says, “I’ll rip your head off and shit down your neck!”. Once you find a certain (relatively) safe cubby hole in the room and slay him with ease, a short movie plays in which Duke actually rips the monster’s head off, drops trow and sits down, whistling and flipping through a newspaper as he does his business. He’s a man of his word.

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I was never the biggest gamer, but there’s a gamer in everyone, and Duke brought it out of me. I beat Duke Nukem 3D several times and never got tired of it, only having to retire the game once the world moved beyond Windows 95. He’ll always have a special place in my heart, and now I have an action figure to commemorate all his badassery.

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