When Duke Nukem II came out in 1993 when 2D sidescrollers were being quickly replaced by pseudo-3D shooters like Doom, we saw Duke Nukem in a firing range taking shots at a target. This was a scene that was in homage to RoboCop so they say – a film and character not often associated with Duke Nukem along with all his other pop culture references and inspirations.
Joe Siegler did the voice for the character who uttered the phrase: “I’m back!” which is obviously a reference to Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Duke Nukem’s name is often said to have been used in the first game and later changed to Duke Nukum later on after it was discovered that there was an action figure with the same name. But it was found out later that this character’s name was not trademarked and so Apogee went back to using the name Nukem instead.
But where did they get the name Nukem in the first place? RoboCop. If you’ve seen the film and watched through you’ve have noticed a scene where a TV commercial is seen, which depicts a family playing a modernised boardgame of sorts. This game turned out to be called “Nukem”. And the font used was similar to how it would appear in the early Duke Nukem games. Probably later, Duke was used because it’s not only a cool sounding name, but it rhymes with the surname too.
So this is just an interesting thing I thought I would bring to your attention. Hell, it could even be argued that Duke even looked a bit like Alex J. Murphy in the film. Maybe that’s why he started wearing the sunglasses.