Duke Nukem 3D Now Available for Accelerated Amigas

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Released in 1993, Duke Nukem 3D remains one of the most memorable FPS titles from the MS-DOS era. Sadly, it was never available for Amigas – until now.

If you’re unfamiliar with the game, here’s a brief introduction:

Prepare Yourself for the Ultimate 3D Slugfest! Murderous aliens have landed in futuristic Los Angeles, and the humans suddenly find themselves atop the endangered species list. The odds are a million-to-one, just the way Duke likes it! Now, it’s up to Duke Nukem to stop the onslaught against Earth, by doing what he does best — KICKING ALIEN ASS!

Designed for a computing platform more advanced than contemporary Amigas, Duke Nukem 3D has been re-released multiple times over years across most imaginable platforms. There’s even a version for the Nintendo Switch. So, why has it taken so long for Duke Nukem 3D to run on an Amiga?

Well, basically because the original hardware – even on an Amiga 1200 – is unsuitable. The game will only run with a 68060 processor with FPU, which means adding a suitable accelerator card with on-board RAM. Requirements are as follows:

  • 68060 processor with FPU
  • Kickstart 3.0
  • AGA chipset or RTG card
  • 16 MB Fast RAM
  • 45 MB disk space (+ more for the audio tracks)

Find the full details on Duke Nukem 3D for Amiga at Aminet.

The game will also require the original DUKE3D.GRP file to work, which is available to download online. Multiplayer games will need DUKE.RTS.

The port is by Szilard Biro, who notes some performance considerations.

FFS is quite slow at seeking in large files which can lead to pauses in-game when new data has to be loaded from the GRP file. It can be improved by adding more buffers, but it’s recommended to run the game from a PFS or SFS volume. The texture/sound cache is also sensitive to memory fragmentation, so if you have 32 MB or less memory, it’s best to start the game after a clean reboot. If your accelerator doesn’t have any on-board RAM the game will likely not be playable, as access to the motherboard RAM is not fast enough for the renderer.

While you’re never going to play Duke Nukem 3D on a standard, unmodified Amiga, this is a great way to underline the benefits of an accelerator card.