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When human skills are just not enough

Submission #5955: slamo's DOS Duke Nukem II "Episode 1" in 05:30.07

Console: DOS
Game name: Duke Nukem II
Game version: unknown
ROM filename: NUKEM2.EXE
Branch: Episode 1
Emulator: JPC-rr r11.8 rc2
Movie length: 05:30.07
FrameCount: 19804
Re-record count: 4157
Author's real name: MRT
Author's nickname: slamo
Submitter: slamo
Submitted at: 2018-05-04 16:58:52
Text last edited at: 2018-05-25 21:33:19
Text last edited by: thecoreyburton
Download: Download (56316 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

Movie information

  • Emulator: JPC-RR r11.8 rc2
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Uses hardest difficulty
  • Genre: Platform
  • Genre: Action

This run uses the original registered version v1.0, it does not use the GOG version.

  ID: f30c92aaa8efd4d6a3936c6a2937d17e
  Tracks: 16
  Sides: 16
  Sectors: 63
  Total sectors: 16128
  MD5: f58863803c5f1b003d98a11a71460fe5
  Entry: N/A            N/A                                      10 /
  Entry: 19900101000000 706ca630fa56053388b322f0da4ab3d5      10795 /DN2HELP.EXE
  Entry: 19900101000000 91846be25c24ac01b983786fb9f410c2       9499 /DN2HINT.EXE
  Entry: 19900101000000 2d34e618cdc17857719890902df8aa56        446 /FILE_ID.DIZ
  Entry: 19900101000000 342fe660b7222c6d84ebabc5abc563ea    5496675 /NUKEM2.CMP
  Entry: 19900101000000 9c89c02891856091397ae92d18438096      59552 /NUKEM2.EXE
  Entry: 19900101000000 b5985516a2e46f5ef81cb9abfa3265f3      98960 /NUKEM2.F1
  Entry: 19900101000000 f517c739beb6ef8d7e51e937854100c3      38622 /NUKEM2.F2
  Entry: 19900101000000 3eafe45253ef83669ac9c8476fa97de7      52427 /NUKEM2.F3
  Entry: 19900101000000 f63eeeeb24c07f73b8fb4da56653e690     240848 /NUKEM2.F4
  Entry: 19900101000000 98f0584c244df06d13f367206445cb72      33911 /NUKEM2.F5
Duke Nukem II was developed and published by Apogee Software in 1993. In this sequel to the original Duke Nukem, our hero Duke must foil the Rigelatins' plans to steal his brain and use it to take over the planet.


Just a couple things to go over:


The game has a built-in game speed feature which is increased to the maximum level. Hard difficulty is also chosen, which increases the number of enemies and increases enemy health.


This game's physics are similar to the previous game. There is no horizontal acceleration and only a small amount of vertical acceleration. One nice upgrade is that the jump height is no longer fixed.


Duke Nukem II is one of the rare DOS games with avoidable lag frames. Things like killing certain enemies, blowing up barriers, and anything with particle effects can have a significant effect on lag.

Flamethrower skips

The flamethrower is a huge factor in these runs because of its ability to make you fly by shooting down in the air. It's good for small time saves like going up over ledges, but it can also help you skip keys and access cards, significantly shortening a level. You get 64 charges with each pickup, so you have to be careful not to squander them.


Most of the secret bonuses are easily avoidable, but some you have to go out of your way to avoid. Having one bonus adds a little extra time to the bonus screen, and having multiple bonuses causes massive time losses.

Level comments

Level 1

The only area that produces lag frames is the very bottom at the beginning of the level. This is pretty simple otherwise, with not much damage management to speak of.

Level 2

The spiders make their first appearance, and they're incredibly annoying. On hard difficulty they take three hits to kill, and you don't want to touch them either since they latch onto you, which deals damage and blocks your gun from shooting. The only way to get them off is to shake back and forth. Thankfully, with TAS movement, you only have to turn twice to get them off.

The goal of this level is to destroy the 4 radars before you can leave. They're all pretty much on-path, so you don't have to go out of your way to destroy them. It's just barely not possible to skip the access card.

Level 3

A small skip here: on the way up to the first key, you're supposed to go under and around where you shoot the green pillars, but you can let one of the blocks land on you and clip on top of it. The lag is minimal in this level, and damage management isn't needed thanks to the rocket launcher.

Level 4

We get our first flamethrower here. This weapon is great for skipping significant portions of this level and the next one, but we have to conserve ammo to do it. The difficulty level becomes a factor here, since we have to use quite a bit of the flamethrower ammo just to stay alive.

Level 5

Most of this level is skipped with the conserved flamethrower ammo. The key door is bypassed entirely and we can fly straight up to the access card. Walking along conveyer belts is a nice little movement boost. No damage management required here.

Level 6

There's another flamethrower pickup, although it's a bit out of the way. Despite this, it will definitely be worth it to skip climbing sections in this level and the next.

Level 7

Here's a really tricky method of skipping most of the level. You have to be very stingy about using the flamethrower ammo to pull it off. The optimum way to fly upward is to jump, reach the peak of your jump, and then start flying. If you land on a platform once in a while and jump instead of just flying past it, you can conserve some ammo with minimal time loss. A reasonable alternative for RTA runners would be to just fly up to the platform directly above the key door - while this is suboptimal, it requires a little less ammo and you would still be able to skip the backtracking to the bottom. The laser pickup is for the boss in the last level.

There's a unique problem in this level. There are only a few opportunities to get hurt with this route and it's entirely possible to beat it while taking no damage. The problem is that finishing the level without getting hit triggers a secret bonus, which takes up more time (about 3/4 of a second) in the bonus screen. For this reason, it's better to intentionally get hit by one of the spiders to avoid the bonus.

Level 8

The boss is extremely hard to optimize due to its movement and large amount of health. The laser is an interesting weapon in that it can hit an enemy multiple times with one shot. Because the boss has such a wide hitbox, each laser can deal damage 2 or 3 times while it's moving towards you and 3 or 4 times while it's moving away from you. You actually don't want to fire as fast as possible because having two lasers within the boss only deals the damage of one laser. Going in to the boss, we have 28 laser charges, which deal 2 damage each. Since the boss has 150 health, we really have to get multiple hits with each laser shot, with most of them hitting 3 times or more. Plugging away with the default gun with the boss at 20 HP is a horrible option.

I should mention that most RTA runs finish this boss faster, but they are done on easy difficulty and the boss has more health on hard difficulty. We get away from the exploding boss as soon as we can for lag reduction. The secret bonus after the level isn't avoidable: it's for blowing up all the bombs, which there are none of here.


Shoutouts to CapnClever and Bonesaw577, the two RTA runners of this game. Their runs were a great reference.

Nach: I found this run to be somewhat too busy and requiring out of bounds sight to really appreciate it. However, our audience seems to really like it, so accepting to Moons.

thecoreyburton: Processing.

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