Duke Nukem: Nuclear Winter is an official expansion pack by Simply Silly Software to the award winning Duke Nukem 3D. It contained a new episode, new enemies, new intros and endings, and a large number of new textures to give the game a Christmas theme.
The story takes place one year after the original Duke Nukem 3D with Duke receiving a telegram from Doc Herbie Elfnic DDS saying that the alien menace has returned to earth and, with the assistance of the Femenist Elven Militia, captured and brainwashed Santa Claus. Duke's mission is to go to the North Pole, defeat the aliens, and save Christmas.
Eight levels are included, replacing the entire second episode. Of the new levels, the first two (E2L1 and E2L2) are reworked versions of E1M2 and E1M1 with altered enemy placement, new textures, new secrets, and new entrance and exit points. E2L8.MAP is not accessible through normal play of the single player campaign and is the sole "SantaMatch" map of the expansion.
Notable design points include:
- E2L1, " Deja Vu", starts you at the end of E1L2 (where you'd normally get thrown into jail) and has you battle your way back to the now non functioning elevator. The area behind where the "Duke Nukem Must Die!" sign once stood is now explorable and the adult entertainment store is arranged differently. Rather than come down from the apartment to behind the counter, a service elevator runs behind one of the toilets.
- E2L2, "Where It All Began", again starts you at the end, battling your way through the movie theater in an effort to get to the roof top of the building where Duke's ship crashed at the start of the game. Where the secret atomic health once was behind the concession counter is now a fleshed out box office. There are also carolers on the street corner singing.
- E2L3, "Land of Forgotten Toys", contains a short excerpt from Doom's opening level, with the yellow key card being where the green armor once was. Mario can also be found sitting in front of a television in an area labeled, "Mediocre Linguini Land".
- E2M6, "Christmas Village", has more key cards than are needed to complete the level. The red card in Santa's office is duplicated elsewhere in the level.
Six new enemies replace a number of standard enemies from Duke Nukem 3D:
- Snowman - Basic snowman enemy type. Hurls snowballs at the player.
- Frosted Battle Mobile - Identical in behavior to the Pig Cop Tank. Snowman in a snowmobile-like tank; fires snowballs. Much like the Pig Cop Tanks from the Plutonium Pak, the Frosted Battle Mobiles can be blown up if you run up behind them and press the use button. This stems from the Pig Cop Tanks having a self destruct button on the back of them; with the Frosted Battle Mobiles being little more than redrawn versions, they also exhibit the same behavior despite not having the button drawn.
- Flying Frosty - Identical in behavior to the Assault Commander. A snowman on a floating wreath that fires snowballs.
- Grunts - Members of the Female Elven Militia that attack the player with dual hand guns. They wear black sports bras and white camouflage pants.
- Groans - Members of the Female Elven Militia that attack the player with dual shotguns. They wear blue elf suits with no pants.
- Santa Claus - Fought on E2L7, "Here Comes Santa Claus", Santa is the final boss of the expansion pack. He has the ability to move extremely rapidly and fires rockets at the player.
Additionally, Assault Troopers and Pig Cops now wear Santa hats and Assault Enforcers now wear reindeer antlers. SantaBots available for multiplayer matches as well, but their AI is extremely primitive. They will not attack the player with anything other than a pistol unless they accidentally run over another weapon.
All of the music of the game was replaced with Christmas-themed tunes. The MIDI songs included are:
- GRABBAG.MID - "Here Comes Santa Claus"
- NW1.MID - "Frosty the Snowman"
- NW2.MID - "Jingle Bells" & "Sleigh Ride"
- NW3.MID - "Jingle Bell Rock"
- NW4.MID - "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer"
- NW5.MID - "Winter Wonderland"
- NW6.MID - Same as NW2.MID
- NW7.MID - Same as GRABBAG.MID
CyberGames reviewer Steve Wargo gave the expansion pack a positive review, highlighting the low suggested retail price ($15) and the action as the high points but lists the redundant level design as the chief complaint ( link). Emil Pagliaruo of Adrenaline Valut sharply criticized the level design with, "I must have played through those original levels a hundred times, during Duke Nukem 3D's heyday, and going through them again was not nostalgic, it was a chore. After that, the levels were just as disappointing, and the map design was just plain boring" and then summarizing the review with, "Does the world really need another Dukem Nukem 3D add-on? Not this one" (link). Chris McMullen from GamesDomain deried it for being unoriginal, short, and for not working with Duke Nukem 3D v1.3 (link).
Hendricks266 began and currently maintains a project entitled, " Duke: Nuclear Winter High Resolution Pack" who's goal it is to redo all of the artwork of the game in high resolution.