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As the name would suggest, not only does Duke have to fight his enemies and pick up weapons and items, but he also has to deal with the surrounding area. Duke reacts to his environment in different ways, and this section is here to detail how you can make him do these things.

Breakable Stuff
Cameras and Monitors
Environmental Damage Sources
Exit Symbols
Indestructible Guns
Teleportation Pads
Toilets and Water Sprays

You will see these women all around your travels in this game. If you talk to 
the non-alienized babes, you can give them money and talk to them. Some of the
strippers will also flash you their pixellated, tassled body (oh my!). The alienized 
babes will ask you to kill them, which is slightly less sexy. 

In any case, killing a babe is not advisable. Doing so will often warp an 
enemy, which is usually a TRP, CAP, or OB but other enemies can come to (in 
some situations, a BLRD!). A slight exception to this is when babes are 
concealing items that you need, but there are only a few situations in the game
that you need to do that.

Breakable Stuff 

There are many objects in this game that are breakable with your weapons. Pots,
plates, computer screens, trees, signs and so forth. This usually doesn't 
affect the course of the game to a great extent but makes things interesting!

Cameras and Monitors

Cameras are devices that allow you to see in future parts of the level.
Cameras are littered amongst many levels, often in corners of areas. Cameras
can also move back and forth, you will see their range if you look at them.
Monitors can be used to see what the cameras see. They are dark black with 
green text and they can't be broken, as they have a purple forcefield 
surrounding them. By using the monitor, you can scroll through the various 
cameras in the level. 

By using the monitors, you can scout out future rooms in the level or see if 
anything has changed in the old ones. There are also some special monitors that
display messages or singular unique images. When you leave a monitor, the 
image that the monitor was displaying is left on the monitor, you can still see
what the camera sees if you are not actively "using" the monitor. Note that 
you are vulnerable to enemy fire if you are using the monitor.

You can detonate pibebombs when you are using a monitor, and this can be good
if you are setting traps for enemies in the game, or particularly useful for
DukeMatch. Always be careful approaching a PB in DukeMatch :)


Cracks in the wall almost always signify either a secret area or a pathway onto
a new area of the level. Any weapon with the explosive quality can destroy a 
cracked surface, as well as explosive environmental sources and enemies that 
employ explosive weapons. However some cracks don't blow up, these are rare
and are for decoration only.

Environmental Damage Sources 

There are some things in the game that can do damage to you if you touch them.
These include lightning bolts, fire, etc. There are also some parts of the 
ground that, if you step on them, you will take damage. This includes acid, 
lava, and electricity conducting floors. You can prevent this damage by using 
BTS, but using the JP or jumping whilst on the acid can prevent or minimize 
this damage.

You can be squished by various things in the game too, including rotating 
walls, compressing doors, and things like big pistons and so forth. These will
cause you (and many other enemies) instant death. You can also get squished by
things that shouldn't squish you (revolving doors and so forth). Carts and 
other fast moving things can kill you. And if you fall from high places, you
will take damage (if you fall from a very high place, you can die instantly).
Doors can also crush enemies (but not you that easily).

There are also little electric outlets on the walls near the floor. You can 
"use" the outlets on the floor, and you will take 1 damage each time.

* New to the Atomic Edition is a very nasty "Hyper Acid" that will kill you 
extremely fast and just eat through BTS like candy. You take damage even if you
are jumping on the acid or using the JP. This stuff can kill you in about 5 
seconds flat. Lucky for you it only appears in a couple levels, Direlict and 
the last level where you fight the AQ. Be very careful around this stuff!

Exit Symbols 

These symbols are large circular shaped "radiation" symbols that are mounted on

Exit symbols end the level you are in. After one is pressed (using the Use key)
you are shown a statistics screen and then transported to the next level in the
game. The animation for hitting the exit symbol leaves you vulnerable for a 
moment so you should consider killing most threats around you if you are at low

Green exit symbols signify entrances to secret levels. These are rare and are 
only in a few levels of the game. In a secret level these symbols act as 
standard exit symbols and take you to the level that you would have gone to 
if you had hit the exit symbol in the previous level.

Note that not all levels require you to hit an exit symbol to pass the level - 
some levels, like Death Row end    


These are things that when shot make an explosion. Explosions can destroy walls
and hurt both yourself and enemies. The most common explosive is in the form of
a tall orange canister, but there are others that you will encounter.


Forcefields are one of the key obstacles in Duke 3D as they generally block of
access to key parts of a level. They are often able to be toggled by a switch
or combination of some sort. The functionality of the forcefields differ with
the color of it. Some may cause damage to you, these are usually green or 
blue colored. Others are purple and are generally harmless. Some areas may not
have a visible forcefield, but become apparent when you either touch or fire at
it; usually these are also harmless and are just used as barriers to prevent 
movement into areas like Space.

Forcefields prevent all fire, enemy or yours, from penetrating them. However,
you can exploit forcefields a bit. Enemies will shoot at you behind a force
field, but will get prevented by the forcefield. If the enemies are close to a
forcefield, they can be hit by things with a blast radius, but the most 
recommended gun for this is the RPG. It can be useful but is limited.

Indestructible Guns 

Besides the destructible mounted guns (MG) in the game that are treated as
monsters, there are various indestructible and neutral gun emplacements that 
fire bursts at a predetermined rate. The guns can shoot either bursts dealing
physical damage or shrink rays. In any case like the name of this section 
implies these guns cannot be destroyed or damaged in any way. However you can
use them to your advantage by luring an enemy in front of them, or by using an
aspect of the physical environment to effectively neuter them.


Mirrors are in a few levels in the game, showing a mirror image of Duke and
his surroundings and mimicking his movements to a degree. The other function
of mirrors is that they reflect shrink rays, either yours, a ADRN's or a 
mounted emplacement's. This allows you to shrink yourself, in order to get to 
either progress with a level or get to a secret level. Of course, you can use
mirrors to scout out the area where the mirror is reflecting.

If for some reason you dislike mirrors they can be destroyed with an explosion
or by throwing a PB at the mirror (the PB doesn't need to be detonated).


Switches are an integral part of this game because they allow for access to 
different portions of the level, often required for completing them Switches 
come in all different shapes and sizes. There are two main types of switches,
lever and button. Both switches can be toggled by approaching them and pressing
the use key, however button switches can be toggled by firing a weapon with
bullets at it. Generally switches don't blend into walls so they can be 
determined easily. 

Key card switches are the most important switches in the game. They are colored
and require a key of matching color to toggle them.

There are some groups of switches in the game that require that they are 
pressed in a special order. These usually guard doors that are essential to
level completion. In this guide, the combinations for using these switches are
given from left to right or up to down depending on the order of the switches.
Note that you don't have to press them in a certain order, you can press them
down in any order as long as the final result is the correct combination. For
example, if the combination for a key card was X O X O, you could press the
first switch first and the third switch second, or vice versa, or you could 
turn on any of the untouched switches any number of times. 

 "O" is for a switch that is left alone in the "off" position.
 "X" is for a switch that is turned on, depressed etc in the "on" position.

Teleportation Pads 

These are square pads with a white beam in the middle that will transport you
to another location on the map. You can shoot weapons with the Projectile 
quality through the teleporters and throw PBs through them as well. PBs can be
detonated after they are sent through. Enemies that fire projectile weapons can
use this as well (though they won't if you have already passed through).

Toilets and Water Fountains 

Toilets and urinals can be used to recover health (+10 health if your health is
less than 100). However, when you are using them, you are left open to enemy
fire. The appliance being employed can be destroyed if it was in use, however
it's functionality will not be affected until you stop using it.

When a toilet, fire hydrant or urinal is broken, a stream of water will spray
forth from it. "Using" the water will give you a steady stream of health (up to
100) of about 1 Health per second. Streams of water can also be found by 

You can "use" the various water fountains that are scattered about for a 
similar effect, or you can break them to get a stream of water just like the 
stuff above.


You will often come across grates in the wall that are breakable. Sometimes, 
these are essential to completing a level while at other times they simply
lead to other areas or secret rooms. You can break them in one shot with
any weapon. There are also ceiling and wall fans in the game that can be broken
in the same fashion.


Water is around in many levels and in some it is required that you submerge in
them to progress. You don't have to submerge right away, you can stay "afloat"
and have full capability. You'll know when you go underwater because the screen
tint changes to blue. You can leap out of the water onto surfaces close to 
the ground / water interface by using the jump key when you are in this 
"wading" mode. To dive underwater use the crouch key, and then you can navigate
as if you had full range of motion (see below).

Underwater you can use all your weapons, however, the way some of them work is
changed a little bit (see below). 

As noted above, monsters don't take damage if they are underwater for too long.
Behavior of the monsters underwater changes for some of them, however, as noted

If the enemies aren't noted here, they can't "naturally" go underwater, and 
then I assume that they don't do anything different if they were placed in it
via mapmaking or some such thing.

In a few instances you can swim in acid pools. In this case you take damage 
from the acid if you don't have BTS and you will take damage if you stay 
underwater for too long if you don't have SCG. However all the other underwater
rules are obeyed as detailed above. 

In some levels there is a trap underground that looks like a mine attached to 
a chain that is dangling up from the ground. This is an underwater mine and 
blows up if you shoot it with any weapon. If you run into it or shoot it, the
mine explodes and deals damage to anything within it's blast radius (about 
the equivalent to exploding a canister).