With all the fuss surrounding the imminent release of Duke Nukem Forever, many are forgetting about the awesomeness that
was is Duke Nukem 3D — a game with which I managed to pour countless hours into trying to find each and secret area and secret level, and this was even before the internet and game guides became cool.
The problem with Duke Nukem 3D, however, is that it is not natively compatible with Windows 7. There are ways of getting it to work via the use of unofficial MS-DOS Prompt software, but I’m getting old and it take me an eternity to memorize all of the various DOS commands even in my early youth. Even so, there are talented programmers out there who know of our plight, and probably love Duke 3D more than we do. Upon happening upon a certain eDuke3D website quite some time ago, I learned that it is now possible to play one of my all time favourite games in super slick high resolutions of 1920×1080 and beyond.
You see, the brilliant minds whom dreamt up and coded the eDuke3D framework have made it refreshingly easy to set up and configure Duke Nuke 3D and have it running seemingly-flawlessly on Windows 7. There’s also a stunning High Resolution pack available for those of you might wish to sample the delights of what the game has to offer in a much less pixelated fashion. The mod includes each and every chapter, level, and “boss fight” from Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition, so you won’t be missing out on a thing when migrating over to eDuke3D. There’s also support for all the various add-ons and expansions packs such as Duke Caribbean, Nuclear Winter, Duke it out in DC and other those others that seem to elude me right now…
After downloading and extracting the entirely free eDuke3D engine from its zip archive, you’ll need access to your old Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition CD in order to get the wheels in motion, as it contains a certain “DUKE3D.grp” file which is necessary for the program to run the enhanced version of Duke Nukem 3D. You’ll need to drag ‘n’ drop the file from your CD to your freshly extracted eDuke3D folder — provided you haven’t thrown out your classic, and presumably quite rare, physical copy ‐ then you should be good to go. The main eDuke3D executable file will usually let you know if it runs into any difficulties locating the necessary files and will instruct you on how to remedy the situation, but the process is generally quite straightforward. Alternatively, if you’re having a little difficulty in locating your old Duke Nukem 3D CD, you can always grab a digital copy from GOG for just under $6, which will also provide you with the necessary “DUKE3D.grp” file to run eDuke3D.
I thought I’d include a few quick screenshots I managed to snatch during a recent run-through of the game. It really does feel like a breath of fresh air being able to enjoy the fruits of Duke Dukem 3D in 1080p resolutions on Windows 7. If you’re an old-school Duke 3D gamer, then do make sure to give eDuke3D a shot. The project is still supported and there’s also a remarkably active community which continues to find ways of improving upon the engine even to this day. Top stuff.