Duke Nukem Forever 2001 Trailer Breakdown – What was real and what was not

Since a lot of gamers are mentioning these past days the fantastic 2001 trailer of Duke Nukem Forever, we thought that we should let you know what was real and what was not in that particular trailer. According to Charlie Wiederhold who worked at 3D Realms that time, some of the scenes from the trailer were actual gameplay footage, some were scripted, some were simply polished and some were created just for the trailer.
As Charlie Wiederhold writes at Duke 4’s forum:
This is intended just for fun and curiosity! I’m going to start with the first actual DNF scene (the vegas view) and just go shot by shot. To clarify some terms I will use. Playable = You could experience this yourself as a player just like you saw. Scripted = Think of a Half Life talking sequence or CoD scripted sequence. Meaning it was “real”, but control/interaction would have been limited. Realish = It was all real, but we made special camera angles for trailer interest. Fudged = It was in game, but was either polished for the trailer, or simply an idea prototype. This is actually a big range because some prototypes were fully playable, but hadn’t been incorporated into a level yet. Fake = It was done purely for the trailer and probably wouldn’t have been in the game.
So let’s see what was what in that spectacular E3 trailer:
  • Vegas View = Realish
  • Sandworm = Scripted / Fake
  • Jetskis dropping = Playable
  • Boat & Building = Playable
  • Gunship & Window = Realish / Prototype
  • Octabrain & Tunnel = Scripted / Fake
  • Cars & Street = Playable / Prototype
  • Rocket = Scripted
  • EZVend = Playable
  • Tunnels = Fudged / Prototype
  • PMN8EZ Car = Playable / Prototype
  • Sniping Vasquez = Playable
  • Incoming plane = Scripted
  • EDF with shield = Playable
  • Pinball = Playable
  • More PMN8EZ = Playable / Prototype
  • Lightning Strike = Playable
  • Hoover Dam = Playable
  • Donkey Ride = Fudged / Prototype (I know I know… sorry!)
  • Flashlight Man = Playable / Scripted
  • Waitress and Guy holding door (all cuts) = Scripted / Fakeishfudged
  • Random EDF = Fake
  • General Graves = Scripted / Maybe Fake
  • Mothership = Realish
  • Graves again = Scripted / Maybe Fake
  • Save world all by yourself? = Scripted
  • Motorcycle = Playable
  • Shooting planes = Playable
  • Pipebomb = Playable / Fake setup
  • Tripmine = Playable
  • Ahhhhh!!!!! = Playable
  • Kicking door = Playable
  • Paint splats = Playable
  • Riot Shield and Turret = Playable
  • Shrinkage = Playable
  • EDF209 = Realish
  • Face Roach = Playable
  • Dragon = Realish
  • Minecart = Playable
  • Keypad = Playable
  • Squishing = Playable
  • Lady Killer = Scripted
  • Blue Man = Realish
  • Edge of Destruction = Playable
  • “I live… again!” = Playable
  • Canons Ahoy = Playable
  • Bad LOD Jetskis = Playable
  • Satisfying Chomp = Scripted / Fake
  • Gus = Soooo very fake.
And there you have it guys. Hope that helped most of you understand what was real and what was not. Kudos to Wiederhold for sharing such information. Enjoy for one more time, the E3 2001 Trailer!
Duke Nukem Forever - E3 Trailer 2001

John Papadopoulos

John is the founder and Editor in Chief at DSOGaming. He is a PC gaming fan and highly supports the modding and indie communities. Before creating DSOGaming, John worked on numerous gaming websites. While he is a die-hard PC gamer, his gaming roots can be found on consoles. John loved - and still does - the 16-bit consoles, and considers SNES to be one of the best consoles. Still, the PC platform won him over consoles. That was mainly due to 3DFX and its iconic dedicated 3D accelerator graphics card, Voodoo 2. John has also written a higher degree thesis on the "The Evolution of PC graphics cards." Contact: Email